Suboptimal Adherence to Repeat Testing Recommendations for Men and Women With Positive Chlamydia Tests in the United States, 2008–2010

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Abstract

Background. Chlamydia is prevalent among young persons in the United States. Infected persons have a high prevalence of infection several months later, most likely from reinfection. Retesting of all men and women with a positive test is recommended 3 months after treatment. A test-of-cure is recommended for pregnant women 3–4 weeks after treatment.

Methods. We analyzed 2008–2010 chlamydia testing data from a large US laboratory to estimate test positivity by patient demographic characteristics and diagnoses, and patterns of repeat testing of men and nonpregnant women with a positive test and tests-of-cures of pregnant women with a positive test.

Results. During the study period, 7.0% of 0.40 million tests performed in men and 4.0% of 2.92 million tests performed in women were positive. Among young women, positivity rates were highest among those aged 15–19 years, ranging from 8.5% to 10.0%. Retesting rates of persons with a positive test were suboptimal, with 22.3% of men and 38.0% of nonpregnant women retested. Although 60.1% of pregnant women with a positive test were retested, only 22.0% received a test-of-cure within the 4-week recommended time frame. Repeat tests were positive in 15.9% of men, 14.2% of nonpregnant women, and 15.4% of pregnant women.

Conclusions. Analyses of laboratory testing data provided important insights into chlamydia testing, retesting, and positivity among a diverse US population of men and women. Too few persons were retested as recommended, and interventions are needed to increase both healthcare provider and patient adherence to recommendations for retesting men and women with positive tests.

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