Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Mombasa, Kenya: Feasibility, Prevalence, and Correlates

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Abstract

Introduction

As adolescents and young women become sexually active, they are at risk of adverse reproductive health outcomes including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We assessed feasibility and acceptability of STI screening among 15- to 24-year-old women in Mombasa, Kenya.

Methods

After sensitization activities, participants were recruited from 3 high schools and 1 university. Study staff conducted informational sessions. Students interested in participating were given consent forms to take home, and invited to visit our clinic for STI screening. During clinic visits, participants completed a self-administered questionnaire and provided a urine specimen for STI testing using a nucleic acid amplification test.

Results

Between August 2014 and March 2015, 463 high school and 165 university students collected consent forms. Of these, 293 (63%) from high schools versus 158 (95%) from university attended clinic for STI screening (P < 0.001). Of the 150 (33%) who reported any history of insertive vaginal sex, 78 (52.0%) reported condom use at the last sex act, 31 (20.7%) reported using modern nonbarrier contraceptive methods, and 37 (24.7%) reported not using any contraception at the last sex act. Twenty-six (5.8%) participants were diagnosed with STIs (7 [1.6%] Neisseria gonorrhoeae, 16 [3.6%] Chlamydia trachomatis, 3 [0.7%] Trichomonas vaginalis). In multivariable analyses, reporting receptive vaginal sex without a condom was associated with having a laboratory confirmed STI (odds ratio, 6.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.72–22.28).

Conclusions

These findings support the need for reproductive health interventions to reduce the risk of STIs in a population of adolescent girls and young women in East Africa.

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