The second British Association for Sexual Health and HIV Oxford Diagnostics Course of 2015 focussed on recent challenges and emerging concepts within diagnostics and service design. In response to increasing sexually transmitted infection rates and subsequent demand on UK sexual health services, multiple approaches to improving patient flow and reducing waiting times were presented. The value of novel remote sexually transmitted infection testing was explored, with a description of the patient journey, emerging demographics and rates of testing uptake for the UK's leading National Health Service provider. A cost-benefit evaluation was made for the use of nucleic acid amplification tests versus traditional microscopy and culture for detecting Trichomonas vaginalis, with practical consideration of application to higher risk groups. Two speakers stressed the importance of vigilance against growing antimicrobial resistance. The significance of testing for genotypic markers for antimicrobial resistance, and the emergence of point-of-care tests for resistance were also presented. The meeting closed with a first-hand account of tendering, and practical advice on rebuilding professional relationships and services after a competitive process.
Keywords: Sexually transmitted infection; antibiotic; chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis); diagnosis; gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae); screening; testing; treatment; trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis).