Chlamydia rates highest in early teen girls

Data from the Australian Collaboration for Chlamydia Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance (ACCESS) showed that among women, the proportion of positive chlamydia tests was highest in girls aged 12–15 at 13%, compared with 12% positive in girls aged 16–19, and 8–9% in women aged 20–24.

Presenting the data at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference in Darwin, Carol El-Hayek, an epidemiologist at the Burnet Institute, said 10–15 of the positive tests were from girls aged 12.

However, she said testing rates were much higher in older women.

“There’s more routine screening for older people, and it’s not necessarily based on their risk of having chlamydia; but in the 12- to 15-year-olds, there’s not a lot of testing,” she said.

“So if someone presents and they have got risks or they are known to be sexually active, then they are more likely to have chlamydia and test positive.”