The cost-effectiveness of screening men for Chlamydia trachomatis: a review of the literature

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Chlamydia Infections; *Chlamydia trachomatis; Contact Tracing; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Female; Humans; Male; Mass Screening; Models, Economic; Sexually Transmitted Diseases,; Bacterial




BACKGROUND: An important consideration in determining whether to implement or continue a program to screen men for chlamydia is its cost-effectiveness. A review of the literature on the cost-effectiveness of screening men for chlamydia could potentially provide guidance.

METHODS: An Ovid Medline search was conducted for articles published between 1990 and July 2007 using terms for cost, chlamydia, and male. This search returned 175 articles; 25 were retained after eliminating those not relevant to cost-effectiveness studies of male chlamydia screening. We added 4 articles that were in-press or are published in this issue, for a total of 29. These articles were examined for common themes and their results summarized.

RESULTS: The reviewed studies examined both proactive and opportunistic screening and included screening of risk groups and of the general population. Some older studies included enzyme immunoassays; more recent studies featured nucleic acid amplification assays. Six studies used dynamic transmission models. Fourteen studies analyzed male and female chlamydia screening interventions. Several contained sufficient data to examine the cost-effectiveness of male screening compared with female screening. Male screening was preferred to expanded female screening in 1 study. In other studies, combined male and female screening programs were cost-saving.

CONCLUSIONS: Studies comparing chlamydia screening in men with chlamydia screening in women may be the most useful for guidance to programs. The studies which compare the 2 generally have found that screening men from the general population is not preferred to screening women from the general population, although 1 study found that screening of men from risk groups can be cost-effective compared with screening women from the general population.

DOI of Published Version



Sex Transm Dis. 2008 Nov;35(11 Suppl):S51-60. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Sexually transmitted diseases

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID