New research has found that a screening campaign for the sexually transmitted infection (STI) Chlamydia would not be cost effective.

It found that due to Ireland's small population and the strain already on the health system, a screening programme would not be cost effective because it would be difficult to achieve the necessary coverage levels to reduce the level of infection.

The research shows that the main barrier reported by young people to seeking or accepting a STI test is stigma associated with Chlamydia and other infections.

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI in Ireland, with the highest numbers reported in 20- to 29-year-olds.

It is usually a silent infection, causing no symptoms especially in women, but it can cause serious complications such as infertility and ectopic pregnancies.

The research was conducted by a team from NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the HSE.