How common is chlamydia in the UK?

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By Steve Page

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is common in the UK, especially among young people.

In England, around 229000 people were diagnosed with chlamydia in 2019, making it the most common STI in the country. Despite the high incidence, many people do not know that they are infected with chlamydia, as there are no symptoms.

How common is chlamydia in the UK

The prevalence of chlamydia varies, but it is highest in young people under 25, the MSM, and certain ethnic minority groups.

While sex-related factors influence the incidence of chlamydia and other STIs, changes in health care delivery, treatment, and diagnostic technologies all play a part. Furthermore, biological factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity play a role in determining the prevalence of infections.

In the study, a survey was conducted to capture participants’ knowledge of chlamydia, attitudes towards screening, and sexual behaviour.

The questionnaire contained 17 items, each of which asked a question about the disease’s symptoms and the reasons for its transmission. The participants were asked to rate their knowledge of chlamydia by answering 10 statements or more. The mean knowledge score for these responses was then calculated and the maximum score was 11.

According to the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP), fewer than one in five young people aged 15-24 years is diagnosed with the infection, and the prevalence of the disease is highest outside London.

It is important to remember that gonorrhoea is also a sexually transmitted disease, so prevention is vital.

However, it is important to note that gonorrhoea testing is not covered by the NHS and National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP).