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1 In 60 Senior High School Students Has Chlamydia

Study Shows One In Sixty Senior High School Students Has Chlamydia


A major research study of 1136 senior secondary students in Christchurch has found that one out of every 60 sexually active students is infected with Chlamydia. The survey involves a random selection of year 12 and 13 students from Christchurch schools, and has been carried out by a team of researchers from the Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Otago University, the Christchurch Sexual Health Clinic and the Christchurch Family Planning Clinic.

“None of the infected students had any symptoms to suggest that they had anything wrong with them, and the test result was a shock for these students,” says investigator Dr Paul Corwin from the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

“What is more serious is that some of these students run the risk of infertility unless their infection is treated.”

17 of the 26 public and private schools in Christchurch took part in this study with a good mix of schools from all parts of the city. 72% of the randomly selected students answered the questionnaire. Half of the students who answered indicated past sexual intercourse with most having their urine tested for Chlamydia as part of this study.

Of the students who indicated that they were sexually active, 1.7% tested positive for Chlamydia. Half of the students with Chlamydia were male and half female.

63% of sexually active students said that they had used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse. Most students indicated that although they thought young sexually active people were very likely to get a sexually transmitted disease, they also thought that this was unlikely to happen to them personally.

“It is also of concern that most information about contraception is obtained from friends rather than any health service,” says Dr Corwin.

However, if students were concerned that they did have a sexually transmitted disease, more than half said they would go to their family doctor for advice. The Family Planning Clinic and Sexual Health Clinic were also chosen by around half of the students as a place that they would most probably go to.
It is of some concern however, that 59% of students indicated they might be too embarrassed to seek advice from a health service if they thought they had a sexually transmitted disease..

The advice from the research team to both young and older people who are sexually active is to use condoms every time, and if there is a change of partner have a test for Chlamydia, and this applies to both men and women.
The study was funded by the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation.

For further information please contact:

Dr Paul Corwin. Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences.
Department of Public Health & General Practice.
Ph. (03) 364 1221 (03) 326 5666 (after 6pm)
paul.corwin@chmeds.ac.nz

Dr Sue Bagshaw. Christchurch Family Planning Clinic
(03) 379 0514. 025 221 7101

Dr Edward Coughlan.
Christchurch Sexual Health Clinic, Christchurch Hospital.
(03) 364 0485


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