People under 30 should get routine chlamydia and gonorrhea testing, says task force

·1 min read

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care is recommending that routine screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea be extended to sexually active people under age 30.

The new guidelines published in the Canadian Medical Journal on Tuesday expand the current practice of annually testing patients up to age 25.

The authors say the recommendation reflects rising rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea among people aged 25 to 29 over the past two decades.

They say the reported rate of chlamydia among people aged 15 to 29 is between one and 1.9 per cent, but the true prevalence could be as high as five to seven per cent.

The task force says many cases of chlamydia go unreported because people are asymptomatic or don't seek care.

The guidelines suggest health-care providers screen men for chlamydia and gonorrhea to reduce the spread among women, who face higher health risks such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

The recommendations don't apply to pregnant people, individuals considered to be at high risk based on sexual behaviours or patients seeking care for a possible sexually transmitted infection.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press