Chlamydia national screening?

YEARS ago, before the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program, the words ‘Pap smear’ brought fear and trepidation to many women and GPs.

But these days – with the Pap smear embedded into routine practice – women expect to be asked and GPs are happy to offer.

The anxiety about testing has been passed on to chlamydia, the most common notifiable condition in Australia.1

“Both patients and doctors are terrified of sexual histories,” says Professor Basil Donovan, head of the Sexual Health Program at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

“Confessing to a doctor is often too much for many young people, and initiating questions about sexual history is hard for GPs. It’s especially difficult when the combination is that of a middle-aged male GP and a 17-year-old female patient.

“We need to find a way of ensuring chlamydia testing is not an