BMJ open 2016 08 266(8) e011312 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011312
Genital chlamydia infection (chlamydia) is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Sweden. To guide prevention needs, we aimed to investigate factors associated with chlamydia.
A cohort of visitors aged 20-40 years at an urban STI clinic in Sweden was recruited. Behavioural data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Self-sampled specimens were tested for chlamydia by a DNA amplification assay. Statistically significant (p<0.05) and epidemiologically relevant covariates were entered in a multivariate Poisson model adjusted for potential confounders (age and gender). Backward stepwise elimination produced a final model. Multiple imputation was used to account for missing values. RESULTS
Out of 2814 respondents, 1436 were men with a chlamydia positivity rate of 12.6% vs 8.9% in women. Lifetime testing for chlamydia and HIV was high (82% and 60%, respectively). Factors significantly associated with chlamydia were: 20-24 years old (adjusted risk ratio (ARR)=2.10, 95% CI 1.21 to 3.65); testing reason: contact with a chlamydia case (ARR=6.55, 95% CI 4.77 to 8.98) and having symptoms (ARR=2.19, 95% CI 1.48 to 3.24); 6-10 sexual partners (ARR=1.53, 95% CI 1.06 to 2.21); last sexual activity ‘vaginal sex and oral sex and anal sex and petting’ (ARR=1.84, 95% CI 1.09 to 3.10); alcohol use before sex (ARR=1.98, 95% CI 1.10 to 3.57); men with symptoms (ARR=2.09, 95% CI 1.38 to 3.18); tested for chlamydia (ARR=0.72, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.94).
Risk factors associated with chlamydia were consistent with previous reports in similar settings and suggest no major changes over time. Increased risk for chlamydia infection associated with high-risk behaviour (eg, alcohol use, increased number of sexual partners) supports the need for behavioural interventions in this population such as promotion of safer sex behaviour (condom use) and testing.