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Using Reported Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Illustrate Potential Methodological Issues in the Measurement of Racial and Ethnic Disparities

imageBackground: Racial disparities in the burden of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been documented and described for decades. Similarly, methodological issues and limitations in the use of disparity measures to quantify disparities in health have also been well documented. The purpose of this study was to use historic STD surveillance data to illustrate four of the most well-known methodological issues associated with the use of disparity measures. Methods: We manually searched STD surveillance reports to find examples of racial/ethnic distributions of reported STDs that illustrate key methodological issues in the use of disparity measures. The disparity measures we calculated included the black-white rate ratio, the Index of Disparity (weighted and unweighted by subgroup population), and the Gini coefficient. Results: The 4 examples we developed included illustrations of potential differences in relative and absolute disparity measures, potential differences in weighted and nonweighted disparity measures, the importance of the reference point when calculating disparities, and differences in disparity measures in the assessment of trends in disparities over time. For example, the gonorrhea rate increased for all minority groups (relative to whites) from 1992 to 1993, yet the Index of Disparity suggested that racial/ethnic disparities had decreased. Conclusions: Although imperfect, disparity measures can be useful to quantify racial/ethnic disparities in STDs, to assess trends in these disparities, and to inform interventions to reduce these disparities. Our study uses reported STD rates to illustrate potential methodological issues with these disparity measures and highlights key considerations when selecting disparity measures for quantifying disparities in STDs. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

Missed Opportunities for Chlamydia Screening in Title X Family Planning Clinics

imageBackground: Annual chlamydia (CT) screening is recommended for women younger than 25 years, yet less than half of young women seeking health care are screened annually. We analyzed Title X family planning service data from the Northwest United States to assess factors associated with missed opportunities for CT screening. Our primary hypothesis was screening coverage is higher during annual preventive health visits compared to other visit types. Study objectives were: (1) identify gaps in screening coverage by patient demographics, visit characteristics, and clinic measures; and (2) examine the association between visit type and CT screening by controlling for other covariates and stratifying by state. Methods: Calendar year 2011 Title X visit records (n = 180,856) were aggregated to the patient level (n = 112,926) to assess CT screening coverage by all characteristics. Screening variation was explored by bivariate and multivariate Poisson regression. Adjusted models for each state estimated association between comprehensive examination and screening controlling for confounders. Results: Clinic and visit characteristics were associated with CT screening. Coverage ranged from 45% in Washington to 80% in Alaska. Only 34% of patients visited for a routine comprehensive examination. Visit type was associated with screening; 75% of patients who had a comprehensive examination were screened versus 34% of those without a comprehensive examination (unadjusted PR, 2.18; 95% confidence interval, 2.16–2.21). The association between comprehensive examination and CT screening varied significantly by state (interaction term, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Missed screening opportunities are common among women who access brief appointments for specific needs but do not seek routine preventive care, particularly in some states. Structural interventions may help address these systematically missed opportunities. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

Adverse Experiences in Childhood and Sexually Transmitted Infection Risk From Adolescence Into Adulthood

imageBackground: Childhood maltreatment, particularly sexual abuse, has been found to be associated with sexual risk behaviors later in life. We aimed to evaluate associations between a broad range of childhood traumas and sexual risk behaviors from adolescence into adulthood. Methods: Using data from Waves I, III and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we used logistic regression to estimate the unadjusted odds ratio (OR) and adjusted OR (AOR) for associations between 9 childhood traumas and a cumulative trauma score and three sexual risk outcomes (multiple partnerships, sex trade involvement, and sexually transmitted infection [STI]) in adolescence, young adulthood, and adulthood. We also examined modification of these associations by gender. Results: Associations between cumulative trauma score and sexual risk outcomes existed at all waves, though were strongest during adolescence. Dose-response–like relationships were observed during at least 1 wave of the study for each outcome. Violence exposures were strong independent correlates of adolescent sexual risk outcomes. Parental binge drinking was the only trauma associated with biologically confirmed infection in young adulthood (AOR, 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–2.11), whereas parental incarceration was the trauma most strongly associated with self-reported STI in adulthood (AOR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.11–2.58). A strong connection was also found between sexual abuse and sex trade in the young adulthood period (AOR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.43–2.49). Conclusions: A broad range of traumas are independent correlates of sex risk behavior and STI, with increasing trauma level linked to increasing odds of sexual risk outcomes. The results underscore the need to consider trauma history in STI screening and prevention strategies. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

Uptake of Home-Based Syphilis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing Among Male Partners of Pregnant Women in Western Kenya

imageBackground: Few men are tested for syphilis or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during their partner’s pregnancy, a high-risk period for HIV and syphilis transmission. Offering home-based rapid testing of syphilis to couples during pregnancy can support prevention efforts to reduce transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Methods: We assessed men’s uptake of paired (separate tests, single blood draw) point-of-care syphilis and HIV tests within a randomized controlled trial of pregnant women who received clinic or home partner HIV testing. We evaluated acceptance of paired HIV-syphilis testing during pregnancy or at 6 months postpartum, and evaluated whether addition of syphilis testing affected the uptake of HIV testing among men. Results: Of 601 women, we were unable to meet 101 male partners, and 180 tested before syphilis tests were available. Paired syphilis and HIV testing was offered at home to 80 men during pregnancy and to 230 men postpartum. For syphilis, 93% of men agreed to test during pregnancy and 98% agreed postpartum. For paired syphilis and HIV testing, 91% of men tested for both during pregnancy and 96% tested postpartum. Before syphilis test introduction, 96% of men accepted HIV testing, compared with 95% of men who accepted HIV testing when paired testing was offered. Conclusions: Uptake of syphilis and HIV testing was high among male partners offered couple testing at home. Introducing syphilis testing did not adversely affect HIV testing among men. Point-of-care diagnostics outside facilities can increase testing of male partners who rarely accompany women to antenatal clinics. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

Efficacy of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Sexually Transmitted Infection Trial on Condom Use Among Heterosexual Men Patronizing Entertainment Establishments Who Engaged in Casual or Paid Sex in Singapore

imageBackground: We assessed the efficacy of a multi-component sexual health promotion program on condom use and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing among heterosexual men (HSM) patronizing entertainment establishments who engaged in casual or paid sex in Singapore. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental trial with a comparison group using cross-sectional surveys at baseline and 6 months postintervention. A locality patronized by local HSM was assigned the intervention, a comparable and distant area served as the comparison site. Using time location sampling, cross-sectional samples of these men were assessed on sexual behaviors using an anonymous questionnaire at baseline (n = 604) and 6 months postintervention (n = 360) in both groups. The coprimary outcomes were condom use at last vaginal and oral sex with casual partner respectively. Mixed effects Poisson regression model accounting for clustering by establishment was used to compute the adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) of the outcomes postintervention. Results: At postintervention, the intervention group was more likely than the comparison group to report condom use at last vaginal (aPR, 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–1.89) and oral (aPR, 1.70; 95% CI. 1.11–2.61) sex, respectively, with casual partner. Similar findings were found for consistent condom use in the last 6 months for vaginal (aPR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.13–2.48) and oral (aPR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.16–3.32) sex, respectively, with casual partner. The HIV/STI testing was not significantly higher in the intervention than the comparison group (aPR, 1.43; 95% CI, 0.98–2.09). Conclusions: This trial was effective in promoting condom use with casual partners but not HIV/STI testing among HSM in Singapore. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

Low Prevalence of Urethral Lymphogranuloma Venereum Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: A Prospective Observational Study, Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinic in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

imageAbstract: In contrast to anorectal lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), few urogenital LGV cases are reported in men who have sex with men. Lymphogranuloma venereum was diagnosed in 0.06% (7/12,174) urine samples, and 0.9% (109/12,174) anorectal samples. Genital-anal transmission seems unlikely the only mode of transmission. Other modes like oral-anal transmission should be considered. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

A Macaque Model for Rectal Lymphogranuloma Venereum and Non-Lymphogranuloma Venereum Chlamydia trachomatis: Impact on Rectal Simian/Human Immunodeficiency Virus Acquisition

imageBackground: Sustained genital tract inflammation caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is known to increase risk of vaginal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections but, to our knowledge, there are no nonhuman primate studies that have evaluated its link to rectal HIV acquisition. Methods: Rhesus macaques inoculated with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) (serovars LGV-L2 and CT-E; n = 7) or saline (n = 7) received up to 20 rectal challenges twice a week of simian/HIV immunodeficiency virus (SHIVSF162p3). SHIV viremia was determined by real-time PCR and Chlamydia infection by APTIMA Combo 2 testing. The rectal cytokine-chemokine levels were evaluated by multiplex bead assays. Results: Rectal Chlamydia infection was maintained throughout the study. We did not observe significant differences (P = 1.0) in frequency of SHIV acquisition between the STI and control arms. It took fewer SHIV challenges to infect the STI animals although the difference was not significant (P = 0.59). There were no significant differences in peak plasma viremia between STI and control arms (P = 0.63). The association of plasma viremia with rectal shedding was significantly different by arm (P = 0.038). Conclusions: In the first such study in a macaque model, we did not observe an increased risk of SHIV acquisition due to rectal Chlamydia coinfection. This macaque model can be further developed and expanded to better investigate the impact of different rectal STIs on HIV acquisition. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM

Trends in Adult Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Prevalence, Incidence and Urethral Discharge Case Reporting in Morocco over 1995–2015—Estimates Using the Spectrum-Sexually Transmitted Infection Model

imageBackground: Evolving health priorities and resource constraints mean that countries require data on sexually transmitted infections (STI) trends to inform program planning and resource allocation. Methods: The Spectrum modeling tool estimated prevalence and incidence of gonorrhea and chlamydia in Morocco's 15- to 49-year-old population, based on prevalence surveys. Incident cases, broken down between symptomatic and asymptomatic, and treated versus untreated, were compared with urethral discharge (UD) case reports, to estimate reporting completeness among treated UD cases. Results: Gonorrhea prevalence was estimated at 0.37% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14–1.0%) in women and 0.32% (0.12–0.87%) in men in 2015; chlamydia prevalences were 3.8% (95% CI, 2.1–6.4%) and 3.0% (95% CI, 1.7–5.1%). Corresponding estimated numbers of new cases in women and men in 2015 were 79,598 (95% CI, 23,918–256,206) and 112,013 (95% CI, 28,700–307,433) for gonorrhea, and 291,908 (95% CI, 161,064–524,270) and 314,032 (95% CI, 186,076–559,133) for chlamydia. Gonorrhea and chlamydia prevalence had declined by an estimated 41% and 27%, respectively, over 1995 to 2015. Prevalence declines probably related to improved STI treatment coverage, and decreasing risk behaviors. Reporting completeness among treated UD cases was estimated at 46% to 77% in 2015. Reported UD cases corresponded to 13% of all estimated (symptomatic and asymptomatic) gonorrhea and chlamydia cases. Conclusions: STI declines and improvements in treatment coverage are consistent with Morocco’s introduction of syndromic management in 2000, scale-up of prevention, and declining human immunodeficiency virus incidence. While gonorrhea is four-fold more common as cause of clinical UD cases than chlamydia, Morocco continues to suffer a large, untreated burden of chlamydia. Reliable monitoring of both STIs requires new periodic surveys and/or novel forms of affordable surveillance beyond high-risk populations. 09/01/2017 01:00 AM