Chlamydia: Screening

Health written question – answered at on 31 January 2008.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to address the difference in numbers of men and numbers of women being screened for chlamydia.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

Since the launch of the National Chlamydia Screening programme (NCSP) in 2003, it has been a requirement to screen both young men and women for chlamydia within the programme. This is one of the only national chlamydia screening programmes in the world to do so.

The number of screens in men has risen year on year. In 2006-07 the number of screens undertaken in men was 21.1 per cent.

It was recognised that more must be done to increase screening volumes in men and in November 2007, the NCSP launched a strategy 'Men too', to outline national commitments and local action to engage more men to accept chlamydia screening. The aims of the strategy are to:

raise awareness of the importance of screening men, both for their own sexual and reproductive health and to contribute to preventing reproductive morbidity in women; engage national health service organisations locally to ensure equitable access to chlamydia screening for both men and women remains a priority; and develop best practice in providing chlamydia screening for men.

A copy of the strategy has been placed in the Library and is also available at:

www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/ps/assets/pdfs/NCSPMens_strat.pdf

The NCSP have been working with various stakeholders, including the Men's Health Forum, to implement commitments in this strategy. The programme of work, to be undertaken by November 2008, includes the development of a toolkit of resources to assist local NHS organisation with engaging men in screening.

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