Aids Weekly Plus
Karen Hoover, MD, MPH, medical epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, and colleagues analyzed data from a US laboratory to determine whether patients who had been diagnosed with chlamydia were retested after treatment, as recommended by CDC. The data included all chlamydia tests performed in men and women from July 1, 2008 to July 30, 2010. The data showed that 3.32 million tests were performed during specified period, and 2.92 million tests were for women. The researchers estimated repeat testing rates for men and women with positive results in the study’s first six months, and allowed 12 months of follow-up for each person.
The study showed that among the men, 7 percent of tests were positive while 4 percent of the women’s tests were positive. The highest number of positive tests was in men aged 17 to 23 years and women aged 15 to 19 years. Among men, 22.3 percent who had a positive result did the retest, whereas 38 percent of nonpregnant women with a positive test were retested. In pregnant women, 60.1 percent with positive results were retested. Retests were positive in 15.9 percent of men, 14.2 percent of nonpregnant women, and 15.4 percent of pregnant women. Test of cure, which is recommended for pregnant women three to four weeks after treatment, was conducted in 22 percent of the pregnant women with a positive result.
Hoover concluded that healthcare providers should help patients with chlamydia understand the importance of retesting three to 12 months after treatment, and emphasized the importance of treating their partners either by referring them to a healthcare provider or by expedited partner therapy. Hoover also suggested developing interventions for providers and patients to increase adherence to CDC recommendations for chlamydia testing, retesting, and partner treatment.
The study, “Suboptimal Adherence to Repeat Testing Recommendations for Men and Women with Positive Chlamydia Tests in the United States, 2008–2010,” was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (2013; 56 (1): 51–57).