Evaluation of gonorrhea test of cure at 1 week in a Los Angeles community-based clinic serving men who have sex with men

Sex Transm Dis. 2014 Oct;41(10):595-600. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000190.


Background: Because of the decreasing susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to cephalosporin therapy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends test of cure (TOC) 1 week after gonorrhea (GC) treatment if therapies other than ceftriaxone are used. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks clinicians, particularly those caring for men who have sex with men (MSM) on the west coast, to consider retesting all MSM at 1 week. However, it is unclear if this is acceptable to providers and patients or if nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are useful for TOC at 7 days.

Methods: Between January and July 2012, MSM with GC were advised to return 1 week after treatment for TOC using NAAT. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine demographic and behavioral differences between MSM who returned for follow-up and MSM who did not.

Results: Of 737 men with GC, 194 (26.3%) returned between 3 and 21 days of treatment. Individuals who returned were more likely to have no GC history (P = 0.0001) and to report no initial symptoms (P = 0.02) when compared with individuals who did not return for TOC. Of those who returned, 0% of urethral samples, 7.4% of rectal samples, and 5.3% of pharyngeal samples were NAAT positive at TOC.

Conclusions: Although TOC may be an important strategy in reducing complications and the spread of GC, low return rates may make implementation challenging. If implemented, extra efforts should be considered to enhance return rates among individuals with a history of GC. If TOCs are recommended at 1 week and NAATs are used, the interpretation of positive results, particularly those from extragenital sites, may be difficult.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage
  • Ceftriaxone / administration & dosage
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis
  • Gonorrhea / drug therapy
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / drug effects
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification*
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Rectal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Rectal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Rectal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sentinel Surveillance
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Time Factors


  • Ceftriaxone
  • Azithromycin