2010-04-19Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-10-98
Highly variable use of diagnostic methods for sexually transmitted infections-results of a nationwide survey, Germany 2005
Background: Sexual transmitted infections (STIs) have increased in Germany and other countries in Europe since the mid-nineties. To obtain a better picture of diagnostic methods used in STI testing institutions in Germany, we performed a nationwide survey amongst STI specialists in order to evaluate the quality of STI reports and provide recommendations to harmonize and possibly improve STI diagnostics in Germany. Methods: We asked sentinel physicians and randomly chosen gynaecologists, urologists and dermato-venerologists, about the diagnostic methods used in 2005 to diagnose HIV, chlamydia (CT), gonorrhoea (GO) and syphilis (SY) in a national cross-sectional survey in order to recognize potential problems and provide recommendations. Results: A total of 739/2287 (32%) physicians participated. Of all participants, 80% offered tests for HIV, 84% for CT, 83% for GO and 83% for SY. Of all participants who performed HIV testing, 90% requested an antibody test, 3% a rapid test and 1% a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). For CT testing, NAAT was used in 33% and rapid tests in 34% of participants. GO resistance testing was performed by 31% of the participants. SY testing was performed in 98% by serology. Conclusions: Diagnostic methods for STI vary highly among the participants. Diagnostic guidelines should be reviewed and harmonised to ensure consistent use of the optimal STI diagnostic methods.
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