Background: Longitudinal studies have consistently found a significant association between bacterial vaginosis (BV) and acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases. However, there are limited prospective data to confirm these findings.
Methods: We conducted a prospective, randomized, open-label trial of home screening and treatment of young women with asymptomatic BV who were also at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases. These women were screened every 2 months for 12 months and randomized to treatment with oral metronidazole 500 mg twice daily for 7 days or observation alone. The primary outcome was the incidence of gonorrhea and/or chlamydia.
Results: A total of 1365 subjects were enrolled in the study across 10 sites. Adherence with mailing specimens obtained at home was excellent in both groups (84%-88%). The incidence of gonorrhea and/or chlamydia was 19.1 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval, 15.1-22.1) for the treatment group and 18.5 per 100 person-years (15.1-22.8) for the observation arm, a difference that was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Young women were very amenable to home screening for BV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Treatment of asymptomatic BV with 1 week of oral metronidazole did not decrease the incidence of gonorrhea and/or chlamydia.
Clinical trials registration: NCT00667368.
Keywords: STD; bacterial vaginosis; home screening.
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