Objectives: Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmissible infection (STI) that affects significant numbers of men. Research on men's perspectives on chlamydia screening (or testing) has been limited. We conducted a narrative review to examine: (1) what factors encourage or discourage men from attending health services for chlamydia screening, and/or from accepting screening once it has been offered to them, and (2) where men want chlamydia screening services to be located.
Methods: A narrative review of the recent peer-reviewed literature (published between 1999 and 2009) on men's attitudes towards chlamydia screening. To be included, articles had to explore men's perspectives on screening (which could be ascertained through quantitative or qualitative studies, or from relevant discussion papers or reviews).
Results: Forty-eight articles were included in all. Men's attitudes towards chlamydia screening are influenced by their knowledge about the infection, their perceived vulnerability to the infection, the degree of embarrassment and shame that they associate with screening and the stigma that they associate with screening. Men prefer to be offered urine testing for chlamydia. Men want to be offered screening by non-judgemental professionals. Men's attitudes towards screening for chlamydia in general practice, genito-urinary medicine clinics, home and outreach settings are also explored in this review.
Conclusions: Several factors influence men's attitudes towards screening. Two central themes underlie and influence many of these factors: men's needs to make positive impressions on others, and men's identification with particular ideals of masculinity. The review concludes with suggestions for future research on this topic.