Screening for sexually transmitted diseases in short-term correctional institutions: summary of evidence reviewed for the 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines

Sex Transm Dis. 2013 Sep;40(9):679-84. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000431353.88464.ab.


Young persons entering US jails and youth detention facilities have high rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added STD screening guidelines specific to correctional settings to the 2010 STD Treatment Guidelines. This article summarizes published evidence from 1990 to 2009 used to develop the recommendations. The literature supports routine screening of adolescents and young women (aged ≤35 years, or on the basis of local institutional prevalence data) for chlamydia and gonorrhea because of high prevalence and the subsequent risk of adverse reproductive outcomes. Chlamydia positivity among young women (aged <20 years) in juvenile detention facilities and adult facilities is more than 14%. Men in correctional settings are also at high risk for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Among boys in juvenile detention facilities, chlamydia positivity is estimated at 6.6%; among young men in adult facilities, positivity is 16.6%. Screening men (to reduce sequelae among women) should be considered based on local epidemiology and resource availability. Syphilis screening is not strongly supported in published literature because of low prevalence and is not routinely recommended; however, some screening may be warranted based on local prevalence. Although there is a great diversity in the organization of correctional facilities, implementation of screening recommendations is possible owing to improvements in test technology (urine specimens) and through integration of a standard screening protocol. Based on the high burden of disease and substantial opportunities to reach a high-risk population, correctional facilities are important venues to target efforts to control STDs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / prevention & control
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification*
  • Prevalence
  • Prisons
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Syphilis / epidemiology
  • Syphilis / prevention & control
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult