Background: Despite years of public health efforts, Chlamydia trachomatis remains a highly prevalent disease suggesting that current control strategies are not sufficient. Asymptomatic men with chlamydial infections are under-identified and probably play an important role in sustaining the epidemic. Novel methods of actively screening asymptomatic men are needed to reduce the prevalence of chlamydia. This formative study explored the features of a sexually transmissible infection (STI) control program that would encourage annual testing among men. Methods: Using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions, we explored issues related to health seeking behaviours and preferences for STI screening among men recruited from a public health STI clinic. Results: All 29 participants acknowledged the expertise of clinic staff and most men preferred speaking with a provider over using electronic informational resources. The clinic was the preferred venue for future screening, followed by self-collected home sampling with clinic drop-off. Men expressed a preference for receiving results via the telephone rather than electronic options, and preferred personalised reminders for future STI screening. Conclusions: In this sample, there was high interest in utilising the expertise of STI clinic personnel and less in non-clinical options. While this may be due to recruiting from an STI clinic, the data serves as a reminder that service provision must be responsive to the needs of potential users. Our findings suggest that future non-clinic based screening strategies may require an initial educational component to address concerns about confidentiality and sample quality in order to be acceptable.
- qualitative methods
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health