Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) are two of the most prevalent bacterial sexually transmitted infections in the UK. Although the high burden of extra-genital infections with GC and CT in men who have sex with men has been well established, a significant number of extra-genital site infections with CT and GC could similarly be present in heterosexual women. For this reason we started to routinely offer extra-genital site testing for GC and CT in all patients attending our sexual health clinic who reported having had receptive anal sex and/or giving oral sex. This followed a review of current evidence by the clinical team and a change in local testing policy. This study not only confirmed a large reservoir of extra-genital infection amongst men who have sex with men, but also demonstrates that a comparable reservoir of extra-genital infection is present amongst heterosexual women. Our study adds to the mounting evidence that extra-genital site testing in heterosexual women should occur when oral or anal sexual activity is reported.
Keywords: Heterosexual; chlamydia; extra-genital infection; gonorrhoea; pharyngeal; rectal; screening; sexually transmitted infection; throat; women.
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