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No abstract available 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

Methods for Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention Programs to Estimate the Health and Medical Cost Impact of Changes in Their Budget

imageBackground The purpose of this article was to describe methods that sexually transmitted disease (STD) programs can use to estimate the potential effects of changes in their budgets in terms of disease burden and direct medical costs. Methods We proposed 2 distinct approaches to estimate the potential effect of changes in funding on subsequent STD burden, one based on an analysis of state-level STD prevention funding and gonorrhea case rates and one based on analyses of the effect of Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) activities on gonorrhea case rates. We also illustrated how programs can estimate the impact of budget changes on intermediate outcomes, such as partner services. Finally, we provided an example of the application of these methods for a hypothetical state STD prevention program. Results The methods we proposed can provide general approximations of how a change in STD prevention funding might affect the level of STD prevention services provided, STD incidence rates, and the direct medical cost burden of STDs. In applying these methods to a hypothetical state, a reduction in annual funding of US $200,000 was estimated to lead to subsequent increases in STDs of 1.6% to 3.6%. Over 10 years, the reduction in funding totaled US $2.0 million, whereas the cumulative, additional direct medical costs of the increase in STDs totaled US $3.7 to US $8.4 million. Conclusions The methods we proposed, though subject to important limitations, can allow STD prevention personnel to calculate evidence-based estimates of the effects of changes in their budget. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing of HIV-Positive Medicare and Medicaid Enrollees Falls Short of Guidelines

imageBackground Men who have sex with men with HIV have high sexually transmitted infection (STI) incidence. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least yearly STI screening of HIV-infected individuals. Methods We calculated testing rates for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea among HIV-positive Californians with Medicare or Medicaid insurance in 2010. Logistic regressions estimated how testing for each bacterial STI relates to demographic and provider factors. Results Fewer than two-thirds of HIV-positive Medicare and fewer than three-quarters of Medicaid enrollees received a syphilis test in 2010. Screenings for chlamydia or gonorrhea were less frequent: approximately 30% of Medicare enrollees were tested for chlamydia or gonorrhea in 2010, but higher proportions of Medicaid enrollees were tested (45%–46%). Only 34% of HIV-positive Medicare enrollees who were tested for syphilis were also screened for chlamydia or gonorrhea on the same day. Nearly half of Medicaid enrollees were tested for all 3 STIs on the same day. Patients whose providers had more HIV experience had higher STI testing rates. Conclusions Testing rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea infection are low, despite the increase in these infections among people living with HIV and their close association with HIV transmission. Interventions to increase STI testing include the following: prompts in the medical record to routinely conduct syphilis testing on blood drawn for viral load monitoring, opt-out consent for STI testing, and provider education about the clinical importance of STIs among HIV-positive patients. Last, it is crucial to change financial incentives that discourage nucleic acid amplification testing for rectal chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea Testing in New York Medicaid–Enrolled Adolescents

imageBackground Although growing public health efforts have been expended on increasing adolescents' access to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, little is known about the current utilization of those services in clinical settings. Methods Using 2010 to 2012 New York State Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicaid Analytic eXtract data, we estimated the annual percentage of 13- to 19-year-olds who were tested for HIV, chlamydia (CT), and gonorrhea (GC). A regression analysis was performed to identify factors independently associated with testing utilization. We further examined testing utilization in all adolescent females with 1 or more health care encounter, pregnant females, and adolescents at increased risk for HIV/STI. Results From 2010 to 2012, HIV, CT, and GC testing rates increased in the overall study population and in most demographic subgroups. Female adolescents, black and Hispanic adolescents, at-risk adolescents, and adolescents with 6 months or longer of enrollment were significantly more likely to be tested. Among adolescent females with 1 or more health care encounter, 19.2% were tested for CT and 16.9% tested for GC in 2012. Among pregnant females, 35.2%, 53.9%, and 46.1% were tested for HIV, CT, and GC, respectively. Among at-risk adolescents, 39.9%, 63.7%, and 54.4% were tested for HIV, CT, and GC, respectively. Conclusions Although progress had been made by New York State providers to adhere to recommended testing for adolescents, there was a clear gap between the recommended level of testing and the actual level of utilization among sexually active females, pregnant females, and at-risk adolescents. Opportunities exist for community provider and public health collaboration to increase adolescent HIV and STI testing. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

Neighborhood Health Care Access and Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Women in the Southern United States: A Cross-Sectional Multilevel Analysis

imageIntroduction The United States has experienced an increase in reportable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while simultaneously experiencing a decline in safety net services for STI testing and treatment. This multilevel study assessed relationships between neighborhood-level access to health care and STIs among a predominantly Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-seropositive cohort of women living in the south. Methods This cross-sectional multilevel analysis included baseline data from HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina between 2013 and 2015 (N = 666). Administrative data (eg, United States Census) described health care access (eg, percentage of residents with a primary care provider, percentage of residents with health insurance) in the census tracts where women lived. Sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or early syphilis) were diagnosed using laboratory testing. Generalized estimating equations were used to determine relationships between tract-level characteristics and STIs. Analyses were conducted using SAS 9.4. Results Seventy percent of participants were HIV-seropositive. Eleven percent of participants had an STI. A 4-unit increase in the percentage of residents with a primary care provider was associated with 39% lower STI risk (risk ratio, 0.61, 95% confidence interval, 0.38–0.99). The percentage of tract residents with health insurance was not associated with STIs (risk ratio, 0.98, 95% confidence interval, 0.91–1.05). Relationships did not vary by HIV status. Conclusions Greater neighborhood health care access was associated with fewer STIs. Research should establish the causality of this relationship and pathways through which neighborhood health care access influences STIs. Structural interventions and programs increasing linkage to care may reduce STIs. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

Prevalence of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Testing by Anatomical Site Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in HIV Medical Care, United States, 2013–2014

imageAbstract Fewer than one-third of men who have sex with men were tested for Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis as part of HIV medical care in the United States in 2013 to 2014, and only 11.6% were tested for either sexually transmitted disease at an extragenital site. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

Y Chromosome DNA in Women's Vaginal Samples as a Biomarker of Recent Vaginal Sex and Condom Use With Male Partners in the HPV Infection and Transmission Among Couples Through Heterosexual Activity Cohort Study

imageBackground Y chromosome DNA from male epithelial and sperm cells was detected in vaginal samples after unprotected sex in experimental studies. We assessed the strength of this association in an observational setting to examine the utility of Y chromosome DNA as a biomarker of recent sexual behaviors in epidemiological studies. Methods The HPV (human papillomavirus) Infection and Transmission Among Couples Through Heterosexual Activity cohort study enrolled 502 women attending a university or college in Montréal, Canada, and their male partners from 2005 to 2010. Participants completed self-administered questionnaires. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction to test women's baseline vaginal samples for Y chromosome DNA and assessed which sexual behaviors were independent predictors of Y chromosome DNA positivity and quantity with logistic and negative binomial regression. Results Y chromosome DNA positivity decreased from 77% in women in partnerships reporting vaginal sex 0 to 1 day ago to 13% in women in partnerships reporting last vaginal sex of 15 or more days ago (adjusted odds ratio, 0.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.02–0.36). The mean proportion of exfoliated vaginal sample cells with Y chromosome DNA was much lower for women who reported always using condoms (0.01%) than for women who reported never using condoms (2.07%) (adjusted ratio, 26.8; 95% confidence interval, 8.9–80.5). No association was found with reported oral/digital sex frequency or concurrency of partnerships. Conclusions Y chromosome DNA quantity is strongly associated with days since last vaginal sex and lack of condom use in observational settings. Y chromosome DNA quantity may prove useful as a correlate of recent vaginal sex in observational studies lacking data on sexual behavior, such as surveillance studies of human papillomavirus infection prevalence. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM

What Is the Role of Paired Rapid Plasma Reagin Testing (Simultaneous Testing of Acute and Convalescent Samples) in the Diagnosis of Repeat Syphilis and the Follow-up of Syphilis?

imageBackground Repeat syphilis is playing an increasing role in syphilis transmission in several populations. The assessment of repeat syphilis and response to treatment depends on accurately measuring intraindividual changes in non–treponemal tests. For a 0- to 6-month delta rapid plasma reagin (RPR) to be determined by routine individual RPR testing, samples are tested 6 months apart with differences in reagent batches, environmental conditions, and observers all leading to measurement errors. We hypothesized that conducting paired RPR testing (simultaneous testing of acute and convalescent samples) would enable a more accurate determination of delta RPR compared with individual testing. Methods A total of 120 study participants with a new diagnosis of syphilis were followed up at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months, with RPR testing performed via individual testing at each study visit and at any suspected repeat syphilis. Rapid plasma reagin paired testing was performed on samples from 0 and 6 months and at any suspected repeat syphilis. Results The quantitative agreement ±1 dilution among paired and individual testing was 97.2%. There was no difference in the proportion with serofast status at 6 months: 21 (19.4%) and 19 (17.6%) according to paired and individual testing, respectively (P = 0.726). There was no statistically significant difference between 0- and 6-month delta RPR as determined by paired and individual testing in predicting seroresponse at 12 months (86.1% and 91.6% agreement with 12-month serofast/nonserofast classification, respectively; P = 0.262). Conclusions In our setting, individual testing performed equally well compared with paired testing. Follow-up of syphilis will remain onerous for the patient and the health care provider until new tests that can more accurately assess the response to therapy and repeat syphilis/treatment failure are developed. 01/01/2018 01:00 AM