Rapid testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections improve patient care and yield public health benefits

Gary G. Whitlock*, Daniel C. Gibbons, Nick Longford, Michael J. Harvey, Alan McOwan, Elisabeth J. Adams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


A service evaluation of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) testing and result notification in patients attending a rapid testing service (Dean Street Express [DSE]) compared with those attending an existing ‘standard’ sexual health clinic (56 Dean Street [56DS]), and modelling the impact of the new service from 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015. Primary outcome: time from patients’ sample collection to notification of test results at DSE compared with 56DS. Secondary outcomes estimated using a model: number of transmissions prevented and the number of new partner visits avoided and associated cost savings achieved due to rapid testing at DSE. In 2014/15, there were a total of 81,352 visits for CT/NG testing across 56DS (21,086) and DSE (60,266). Rapid testing resulted in a reduced mean time to notification of 8.68 days: 8.95 days for 56DS (95% CI 8.91–8.99) compared to 0.27 days for DSE (95% CI 0.26–0.28). Our model estimates that rapid testing at DSE would lead to 196 CT and/or NG transmissions prevented (2.5–97.5% centile range = 6–956) and lead to annual savings attributable to reduced numbers of partner attendances of £124,283 (2.5–97.5% centile range = £4260–590,331). DSE, a rapid testing service for asymptomatic infections, delivers faster time to result notification for CT and/or NG which enables faster treatment, reduces infectious periods and leads to fewer transmissions, partner attendances and clinic costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-482
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number5
Early online date23 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis)
  • gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)
  • sexual behaviour


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