Background: In response to high adolescent rates of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), Philadelphia began screening in all public high schools in 2003.
Methods: Data from 14,862 students who tested more than once in the Philadelphia High School STD Screening Program (PHSSSP) during the 2002-2006 school years were analyzed for factors associated with CT and GC infection. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models and logistic regression models were constructed to identify characteristics associated with measured STD rates. A secondary analysis assessed short-term reinfection rates among participants retesting within the same school year.
Results: In the primary analysis, over multiple years, the unadjusted female CT/GC rate was more than double that in males (6.0 vs. 2.4 cases per 100 person-years, respectively). Among students with a baseline positive, males had a higher rate than females (19.9 vs. 17.7 cases per 100 person-years, respectively). Among students with a positive test result, 13.6% were reinfected within the same school year. Females with named partners not treated had a higher reinfection rate than all others (85.5 vs. 40.1-45.2 cases per 100 person-years, respectively).
Conclusions: Clinicians and screening programs that offer STD testing to urban high school students, regardless of gender, should encourage those with a prior STD history to test more frequently. Clinicians should work with infected patients, especially females, to ensure their partners are treated.