Community-Based Assessment to Inform a Chlamydia Screening Program for Women in a Rural American Indian Community

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Rates of chlamydial infection in American Indian/Alaska Native women in the United States are approximately 4-fold those in non-Hispanic white women. We conducted a community-based survey of self-identified American Indian/Alaska Native women 14 to 25 years of age on a reservation in the Northwestern United States to inform a chlamydia screening strategy.


The anonymous survey assessed respondents' knowledge, perceptions, and preferences related to chlamydia screening, results receipt, and partner notification. We recruited women using respondent-driven sampling, school-based sampling, and direct recruitment through social media and fliers. Participants in schools completed the survey as a paper-based, self-administered survey. Other participants could complete the survey in person, by phone as an interviewer-administered survey, or online.


We recruited 162 participants, most in schools (n = 83; 51%) or by peer referral (n = 55; 34%). Only 1 woman completed the survey online. Thirty-one respondents (19%) reported a history of an unplanned first pregnancy, and 19 (12%) reported a history of a diagnosed sexually transmitted disease. Most women (n = 98; 63%) recognized the potential impact of Chlamydia trachomatis on fertility. The preferred site for chlamydia screening was the Indian Health Service Clinic (n = 114; 70%), but 79 women (41%) would accept a C. trachomatis test at a nonclinical testing site. Of the 56 women (35%) who would accept home testing, most preferred to get the test kit from a clinic.


Our results suggest that Indian Health Service efforts to increase chlamydia screening in the clinic and through outreach may be more successful than promotion of home testing in this population.

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