Adaptation of the HIV Care Continuum as a Method for Evaluating Syphilis and Gonorrhea Disease Control Activities in Los Angeles County

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Treatment verification and contact elicitation are core approaches used to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Methodology adapted from the HIV care continuum is presented as an evaluation and communication tool for STD control activities.


Sexually transmitted disease surveillance and program data for Los Angeles County in 2013 were used to construct a 2-part continuum to examine syphilis (all stages) and gonorrhea outcomes among index patients and elicited contacts. The Index Case Continuum (Part 1) assesses the proportion of patients who were treated, assigned for interview, interviewed, and provided name and locating information for at least 1 contact. The Elicited Contact Continuum (Part 2) assesses the proportion of contacts who were located, interviewed, and treated.


Among 3668 patients with syphilis, 97% (n = 3556) were treated, 72% (n = 2633) were interviewed, and 25% (n = 920) provided name and locating information for at least 1 contact. The corresponding numbers for 12,541 gonorrhea cases were 95% (n = 11,936), 45% (n = 5633), and 16% (1944), respectively. Among the 1392 contacts elicited from syphilis cases, 53% (n = 735) were either interviewed or determined to not need an interview and 43% (n = 595) were treated. The corresponding numbers for the 2323 contacts elicited from gonorrhea cases were 53% (n = 1221) and 46% (n = 1075), respectively.


Adaptation of the HIV continuum is a useful tool for evaluating treatment verification and contact elicitation activities. In Los Angeles County, this approach revealed significant drop-offs in the proportion of index cases naming contacts and in the proportion of contacts who are interviewed and treated.

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