The Australian Collaboration for Chlamydia Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance (ACCESS) was established with funding from the Department of Health and Ageing to trial the monitoring of the uptake and outcome of chlamydia testing in Australia. ACCESS involved 6 separate networks; 5 clinical networks involving sexual health services, family planning clinics, general practices, antenatal clinics, Aboriginal community controlled health services, and 1 laboratory network. The program ran from May 2007 to September 2010. An evaluation of ACCESS was undertaken in early 2010, 2 years after the program was funded. At the time of the evaluation, 76 of the 91 participating sites were contributing data. The jurisdictional distribution of the 76 sites generally matched the jurisdictional distribution of the Australian population. In 2008, the chlamydia testing rates in persons aged 16-29 years attending the 26 general practices was 4.2% in males and 7.0% in females. At the 25 sexual health services, the chlamydia testing rates in heterosexuals aged less than 25 years in 2008 was 77% in males and 74% in females. Between 2004 and 2008, the chlamydia positivity rate increased significantly in heterosexual females aged less than 25 years attending the sexual health services, from 11.5% to 14.1% (P < 0.01). Data completeness was above 85% for all core variables except Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status and country of birth, which ranged from 68%-100%, and 74%-100%, respectively, per network. There were delays in establishment of the system due to recruitment of 91 sites, multiple ethics applications and establishment of automated extraction programs in 10 different database systems, to transform clinic records into a common, pre-defined surveillance format. ACCESS has considerable potential as a mechanism toward supporting a better understanding of long-term trends in chlamydia notifications and to support policy and program delivery.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Communicable Diseases Intelligence|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2010|