Context: The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents is high. Innovative screening and treatment programs need evaluation.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify, treat, and describe the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) infections among Philadelphia public high school students.
Design: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the first year of an annual program offering education, screening, and treatment for CT and GC. For the school year analyzed, screening took place between January 2003 and June 2003.
Results: In the first year, 19,394 students aged 12-20 years were voluntarily tested; 1,052 students were identified with GC, CT, or both; 1,051 received treatment. Prevalence of CT among females (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.1) was 3.3 times higher than among males (95% CI = 2.5%). Attending disciplinary schools and residing in high reported morbidity areas were also related to higher prevalence of CT and GC.
Conclusions: A high prevalence of CT infections was identified among Philadelphia public high school students. This program demonstrated the effectiveness of a school-based screening program to identify and treat these infections.