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Swiss Med Wkly. 2011 Jul 18;141:w13220. doi: 10.4414/smw.2011.13220.

Chlamydia trachomatis infection in males in a juvenile detention facility in Switzerland.

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Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Geneva University Hospitals & University of Geneva, Switzerland.



Young offenders represent a group for which Chlamydia trachomatis infection screening is recommended in the US. In the absence of local epidemiological data it is difficult to assess whether such recommendations apply to the Swiss context. Our aim was to obtain local prevalence data for Chlamydia trachomatis infection among young male offenders as a basis for screening strategies in Swiss juvenile detention centres.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in a juvenile detention facility in Geneva, Switzerland. Adolescent males aged 15-18 years admitted to the detention facility were invited to participate during a consultation with a nurse conducted within 48 hours of admission. Participants were asked to provide a first void urine sample for PCR detection of Chlamydia trachomatis infection and to complete a questionnaire on reproductive health behaviours.


72 males were considered for participation in the study. 13 were excluded (mainly due to the language barrier or a shorter than 3 days' stay in the facility) and 9 (15%) declined participation. Not being sexually active was the most common reason for declining participation. Most participants originated from Switzerland or the European Union and 68% reported having ≥2 sexual partners in the past year. Only one participant (18 years, asymptomatic) had Chlamydia trachomatis infection (2%; 95%CI: 0-6%).


This study does not support screening for Chlamydia trachomatis among young offenders admitted to detention centres in Switzerland. Studies in other European detention centres should document the extent to which our findings are generalisable to the European context.

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