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As genital (chlamydia) infection is often asymptomatic, surveillance of diagnosed cases is heavily influenced by the rate and distribution of testing. In 2007, we started supplementing case-based surveillance data from the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS) with aggregated data on age group and sex of individuals tested. In this report, annual testing rates, diagnosis rates and proportion positive for chlamydia in Norway between 1990 and 2013 are presented. From 2007, rates are also stratified by age group and sex. The annual testing rate for chlamydia culminated in the early 1990s, with 8,035 tested per 100,000 population in 1991. It then declined to 5,312 per 100,000 in 2000 after which it remained relatively stable. Between 1990 and 2013 the annual rate of diagnosed cases increased 1.5 times from ca 300 to ca 450 per 100,000 population. The proportion of positive among the tested rose twofold from ca 4% in the 1990s to 8% in 2013. Data from 2007 to 2013 indicate that more women than men were tested (ratio: 2.56; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.56–2.58) and diagnosed (1.54; 95% CI: 1.52–1.56). Among tested individuals above 14 years-old, the proportion positive was higher in men than women for all age groups. Too many tests are performed in women aged 30 years and older, where 49 of 50 tests are negative. Testing coverage is low (15%) among 15 to 24 year-old males. Information on sex and age-distribution among the tested helps to interpret surveillance data and provides indications on how to improve targeting of testing for chlamydia. Regular prevalence surveys may address remaining limitations of surveillance.


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