We established whether number of sexual partners and vulnerability factors were associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in <16 year olds.Methods
Data was captured on <16’s attending a GUM clinic 01/01/15–31/12/15, using a standardised electronic proforma. Data collected: Demographics, appointment type, postcode, STIs, pregnancy, contraception, number of sexual partners and vulnerability factors (mental health, drug use, history of abuse, known to outside agencies, gang involvement).Results
236 attendances by 124 patients; 89/124 (72%) new, 35/124 (28%) rebook. 50/124 (40%) <16s resident in GUM clinic borough, 59/124 (48%) from neighbouring boroughs. 107/124 (86%) female. Ethnicity: 54/124 (43%) White British, 32/124 (30%) Caribbean, 15/124 (12%) African. Median age at first attendance 14.6 years (range 12–15). 447/88 (53%) patients using contraception and 23/107 (21%) females had pregnancy test; 2/23 (8.7%) positive. 31/124 (25%) were diagnosed with or were contact of an STI (Chlamydia n=22, Gonorrhoea n=5, PID n=2, HSV n=2, HIV n-1), of whom 9/31 (29%) reported ≥ one vulnerability factor. Average number of sexual partners in this group was 3.45 (Range 0–15). 93/124 (75%) were not diagnosed with an STI, of whom 27/93 (29%) reported ≥ one vulnerability factor. Average number of sexual partners was 1.75 (Range 0–20).Discussion
29% of patients (36/124) attending the clinic had ≥ one vulnerability factor. <16s diagnosed with an STI were not significantly more likely to have a vulnerability factor than those who were not. However, those diagnosed with an STI had a greater number of sexual partners than those without a diagnosis.