Theunissen, K.; Hoebe, C.; Kok, G.; Crutzen, R.; Kara-Zaitri, Chakib; de Vries, N.; van Bergen, J.; Hamilton, R.; van der Sande, M.; Dukers-Muijrers, N. (2015)
With the aim of targeting high-risk hidden heterosexual young people for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) testing, an innovative web-based screening strategy using Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) and home-based CT testing, was developed, piloted and evaluated. Two STI clinic nurses encouraged 37 CT positive heterosexual young people (aged 16-25 years), called index clients, to recruit peers from their social and sexual networks using the web-based screening strategy. Eligible peers (young, living in the study area) could request a home-based CT test and recruit other peers. Twelve (40%) index clients recruited 35 peers. Two of these peers recruited other peers (n = 7). In total, 35 recruited peers were eligible for participation; ten of them (29%) requested a test and eight tested. Seven tested for the first time and one (13%) was positive. Most peers were female friends (80%). Nurses were positive about using the strategy. The screening strategy is feasible for targeting the hidden social network. However, uptake among men and recruitment of sex-partners is low and RDS stopped early. Future studies are needed to explore the sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and impact of strategies that target people at risk who are not effectively reached by regular health care.
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