Chlamydia rise linked to testing
Escalating chlamydia rates in the region could be connected to more young people accessing testing services.
Data released by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) this week show chlamydia rates in the MidCentral District Health Board area have multiplied in the past year.
Between April and June, 300 positive tests for chlamydia were returned in the region - 220 from females and 80 from males.
Anne Robertson, of MidCentral Health Sexual Health Service, said the increase in chlamydia tests could be put down to more young people accessing youth health services.
The peak age range for cases reported through the ESR was between 15 and 24, she said.
"There is an apparent increase in rate looking back retrospectively but it is always difficult to assess whether this is a true increase in rate or reflection of testing patterns," she said. "When there is an increase in numbers of cases, it is hard to determine whether there is an increase in prevalence or an increase in case detection because of increased testing."
The rate of chlamydia in the region between April and June was 177 cases per 100,000 people - up from 160 at the same time last year.
The amount of tests done in the region also increased to 1759 per 100,000 and is the highest it has been in two years.
It was difficult to estimate what or when the peak would be.
"As there is current interest in increasing the provision of youth services, there may be small ongoing increases in testing," she said. "It appears recent testing may have increased disproportionately in women as there is some divergence in notifications between males and females."
Tairawhiti District Health Board has the highest rates of chlamydia, with 353 cases per 100,000.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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