Acceptability of chlamydia screening using self-taken vaginal swabs

Int J STD AIDS. 2008 Aug;19(8):507-9. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2008.008056.


In the first phase of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP), the majority of sites involved offered testing with urine sample. Camden & Islington (C&I) were the first site to offer testing with self-taken vaginal swabs (SVS). SVS are appropriate specimens for diagnosing chlamydia by nucleic acid amplification tests. This study aimed to assess the uptake and acceptability of chlamydia screening using SVS within C&I contraceptive clinics. Data collected from women participating in the NCSP between June 2003 and April 2004 were analysed. Of the 3936 women who accepted screening, 90.4% provided a SVS and only 5.8% accepted the offer of providing a urine sample as an alternative to SVS. Women over 19 years and women from Asian ethnic groups were most likely to decline any screening. No woman stated a reluctance to provide a SVS as a reason for declining screening, confirming the acceptability of SVS for chlamydia screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Chlamydia / isolation & purification
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Self Care*
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Treatment Refusal
  • Vagina* / microbiology