Objectives: To determine (1) level of readiness and (2) demographic and behavioural predictors of readiness to seek chlamydia (CT) and gonorrhoea (NGC) screening in the absence of symptoms after sex with a "new" partner.
Methods: Baseline data, obtained as part of a larger randomised controlled clinical trial in young women, were analysed. Readiness to seek screening for CT and NGC after sex with a "new" partner was assessed using the stages of change framework from the transtheoretical model of change-precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action. Ordinal logistic regression, using the proportional odds model, was used to determine predictors of being in action for or having already been screened for CT and NGC after sex with a "new" partner.
Results: The sample consisted of 376 predominantly African American (67%) young women (mean age 18.5 (SD 1.4) years). The distribution of readiness to seek CT and NGC screening was 4% precontemplation, 11% contemplation, 28% preparation, and 57% action. The best fitting logistic model that predicted being in action for seeking screening after sex with a "new" partner included high perceived seriousness of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (OR = 2.02, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.89), and having "other" (not steady) partners in the last 6 months (OR = 0.50, 95% C.I. 0.32 to 0.78)
Conclusions: Many young women report that they were not getting screened for CT and NGC after sex with a "new" partner and therefore may be at increased risk of an untreated STI. Enhancing level of perceived seriousness of acquiring an STI from a "new" partner may increase a young woman's readiness to seek screening after initiating a new sexual relationship.