Aims: (1) To evaluate the acceptability and validity of an intervention based on urine tests for diagnosis and treatment of gonorrhoea and chlamydia in men in remote Aboriginal communities. (2) To provide a prevalence estimate of these infections in the male population in the surveyed communities.
Methods: First-void urine samples from 460 men in remote communities and 33 men in the Alice Springs Gaol were tested for gonorrhoea and chlamydia with at least one of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and culture (gonorrhoea only).
Results: One hundred and three men (20.9%) were infected with gonorrhoea or chlamydia. The prevalence of infection for gonorrhoea only was 11.7%, for chlamydia only 4.1% and for dual infection 5.1%. Eighty-eight infected men and 45 of their sexual partners were recorded as having been treated within two months of testing. PCR tests detected the largest number of infections and were the easiest to use.
Conclusions: The prevalence of these infections was higher than anticipated. Urine PCR tests were acceptable to men and are well suited to the remote-community setting. As an effective alternative to urethral swabs, they permit a range of community-based strategies to address high rates of infection with gonorrhoea and chlamydia.