Background: Chlamydia trachomatis-infected female teenagers with older partners may be less likely to discuss the infection with their partner(s) and to use condoms and therefore may be more likely to get reinfected.
Goal: To determine if C trachomatis-infected female teenagers with older partners were more likely to be reinfected than those with same-aged partners.
Study design: Females aged 14 years to 18 years who had uncomplicated chlamydial infection, were nonpregnant, attended clinics in five United States cities from June 1995 to May 1997, completed treatment, and resumed sexual activity were observed at 1 and 4 months for interim history and retesting.
Results: Of 225 women studied, 73.3% were black, 34.5% had at least one partner who was 3 or more years older during follow-up, 51.6% reported using a condom at the last sex act with all partners, 13.8% had a recurrent infection, and 47.4% reported they were certain that all of their baseline partners were treated. Partner age was not associated with condom use, certainty of partners' taking medication, or recurrent infections after adjustment for visit.
Conclusions: Older partners, accounting for approximately one third of all partners, did not increase the risk of reinfection. Given the high risk for recurrence, follow-up testing and enhanced efforts to ensure partner treatment are appropriate for all young women with chlamydial infections.