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Rebecca Scott, Media Officer University of Melbourne Mob 0417 164 791
Michael Kessler Media Liaison Australasian Sexual Health Conference Mob 0404 366 409

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For further information on chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections contact your local sexual health clinic or general practitioner.  (

A world first trial of routine chlamydia testing, targeting all sexually active young people, will be undertaken in Australian general practice.

“It is hoped chlamydia testing will become part of an annual routine health check for men and women between ages 16 – 29 who are those most at risk, “says Chief Investigator Dr Jane Hocking of the University of Melbourne’s Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society.

“Never before has there been a trial to evaluate whether routine chlamydia testing in general practice can reduce the burden of infection in the community. “

Information about the national trial will be presented at Australian Sexual Health Conference in Brisbane today at 2pm.

The trial is being led by the University of Melbourne’s School of Population Health, in conjunction with the University’s Department of General Practice, the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales and the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at University of Bern, Switzerland.

“Australian Chlamydia Control Effectiveness Pilot (ACCEPt) will be the largest project of its kind worldwide, “Dr Hocking says.

More than 200 GPs in 70 clinics across Australia will be provided with support to offer testing to young people at risk of chlamydia infection each year and, if necessary, provide treatment to those found to have the infection.

Over the next three years, ACCEPt will identify the most feasible, acceptable and cost effective strategy for regular chlamydia testing.

“ACCEPt will be an important step towards identifying options for the best approach to detect and treat chlamydia infections, “Dr Hocking says.

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Australia and the number of cases continues to increase each year, especially among people aged between 16 and 29 years. In men and women chlamydia is spread through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex.

In 2008 there were over 54,000 reported cases of chlamydia across the country.  The number of reported cases has been rising steadily for several years. However, many more Australians have chlamydia unknowingly, as over 80% of people with the infection do not have any symptoms and do not undergo testing.

“If left untreated in women, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which may lead to health complications such as chronic pain and infertility. In men chlamydia can cause swollen testicles, pain in passing urine and infertility, “Dr Hocking says.

Other collaborators in the project include, the National Centre in HIV Social Research at the University of New South Wales, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Deakin University, Latrobe University, Burnet Institute, Royal Women’s Hospital, and the Victorian Cytology Service. 

The trial has been funded by the Department of Health and Ageing.