Purpose: This study attempted to determine the incidence and risk for gonococcal and chlamydial cervicitis among sexually active urban adolescent females.
Methods: The study design is a prospective cohort study. A cohort of 216 sexually active females were followed with repeat sexually transmitted diseases screening for 12-24 months. Subjects positive on any retest (FU) were compared with those who remained negative on all FU. Subjects were interviewed for history and screened for endocervical gonococcal and chlamydial infection.
Results: The number of visits per patient ranged from 2 to 9 (median, 3). The initial Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae rates were 23.2 and 11.6%, respectively. The cumulative FU positive rates were 20.8% for C. trachomatis and 17.1% for N. gonorrhoeae. Although the initial gonococcal infection was a significant risk for a subsequent infection by C. trachomatis (p = .05) and N. gonorrhoeae (p = .001), the initial C. trachomatis status was not predictive of subsequent infections. The number of partners was not predictive of subsequent infections with either. In the entire study period, 86 patients had at least one episode of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infection was confirmed in 52; 20 patients had recurrent cervicitis. During the study, 101 episodes of C. trachomatis and 68 episodes of N. gonorrhoeae infections were identified. Those with recurrent cervicitis (9.3%) were responsible for 33% of all cervicitis episodes identified during the study.
Conclusions: Adolescents in our study were at high risk for cervicitis, particularly as a result of C. trachomatis. Risk for subsequent C. trachomatis cervicitis was the same among initially positive and negative groups. Our data underscore the importance of repeat screening for sexually transmitted infections and treatment of contacts of adolescent females.