"Pee-in-a-Pot": acceptability and uptake of on-site chlamydia screening in a student population in the Republic of Ireland
Background: The aim of the study was to explore the acceptability and uptake of on-campus screening using a youth friendly approach in two Third Level higher education institutions (HEIs). This study is part of wider research exploring the optimal setting for chlamydia screening in Ireland. Methods: Male and female students were given the opportunity to take a free anonymous test for chlamydia during a one week programme of "pee-in-a-pot" days at two HEI campuses in the West of Ireland. The study was set up after extensive consultation with the two HEIs and advertised on the two campuses using a variety of media in the two weeks preceding the screening days. Screening involved the provision and distribution of testing packs at communal areas and in toilet facilities. In Ireland, chlamydia notifications are highest amongst 20-29 year olds and hence the screening criterion was aimed at 18-29 year olds. Urine samples were tested using a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Following the screening days, qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with participants about their experiences of the event. Results: Out of 1,249 test kits distributed in two HEIs, 592 specimens were collected giving a return rate of 47.5%. Tests excluded (54) were due to labelling errors or ineligibility of participants' age. Two thirds of those tested were females and the mean age was 21 years. Overall,3.9% (21/538) of participants tested positive, 5% (17/336) among females and 2% (4/191) among males. Participant interviews identified factors which enhanced student participation such as anonymity, convenience, accessibility of testing, and the informal and non-medical approach to testing. Conclusions: Screening for chlamydia using on-campus "pee-in-a-pot" days is an acceptable strategy in this population. This model can detect and treat asymptomatic cases of chlamydia and avoid many of the barriers associated with testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in clinical settings.