NSW Health Genital Chlamydia Review 2011

Chlamydia is the most commonly notifiable sexually transmissible infection (STI) in Australia. The NSW Government convened a working group in 2010 tasked with developing an action plan focused on strategies for the control of chlamydial infection in people aged less than 30 years (hereafter referred to as young people). To inform the plan, we conducted a review that covered the epidemiology of chlamydia in young people in NSW; the relationship between chlamydia and adverse reproductive health outcomes, and the evidence on the effectiveness of a range of interventions that have been used to prevent chlamydia or its adverse outcomes.

Key findings
  • In the last decade, the number of chlamydia notifications in 15-29 year olds in NSW increased by 336.3%, from 3,222 notifications in 2001 to 14,057 in 2010.
  • Medicare data showed a parallel trend in chlamydia testing in young people aged 15 – 34 years, increasing from 35,384 tests rebated in 2000 to 154,218 in 2010, a 336% increase.
  • One community-based study in NSW estimated chlamydia prevalence in young males and females to be 3.1% (95%CI:1.0 – 8.0%) and six studies based on clinic populations found the prevalence ranged from 3 to 12%.
  • Analyses of data from a national sentinel surveillance system in sexual health services showed an increase of 28% in chlamydia positivity in young women aged 15-29 between 2004 and 2010 in NSW.
  • We did not identify ongoing estimates of chlamydia incidence, chlamydia-related sequelae or testing rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending Aboriginal health services in NSW.