Conference Coverage

Age, risk factors should guide chlamydia, gonorrhea screening of HIV-infected women



– Among HIV-infected women, those aged 18-29 years had the highest rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia. These results suggest that screening for these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) should be based on age and risk in HIV-infected women, said Jodie Dionne-Odom, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chlamydia Courtesy CDC

Annual screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active adults with HIV, but prevalence varies by gender, age, and risk behavior, Dr. Dionne-Odom said at a conference on STD prevention sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Odom and her colleagues calculated annual testing and positivity rates during 2007-2016 for chlamydia and gonorrhea among women engaged in HIV care in eight U.S. cities as part of the Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Clinical Networks and Integrated Clinical Services (CNICS) longitudinal cohort.

They assessed demographic data based on the most recent year the patient was in care and used validated surveys (AUDIT-C and ASSIST) to assess risk behaviors in the past 3-6 months. They collected information from 5,084 women and 158,745 HIV primary care and women’s health visits.

The median patient age was 47 years; 62.1% of the patients were black; 70% had CD4 counts greater than 350; and 73.6% had HIV viral loads of less than 500 copies/mL. In terms of reported risk, 60.6% of the women were sexually active, (85.5% of whom reported monogamy); 13.1% had problem alcohol use, and 11.6% had active drug use.

Sampling for gonorrhea and chlamydia were mostly from urogenital sites (86.6%), 6.6% were extragenital, and 6.8% were “other.” Nearly all (98.5%) of 23,492 chlamydia tests and 95.7% of 23,324 gonorrhea tests used nucleic acid amplification, Dr. Dionne-Odom said.

During the most recent year in care, 42.7% of women were tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and 3.4% were positive, with the annual positivity rates over the study ranging from 1.5% to 3.2% for chlamydia and 0.9% to 1.5% for gonorrhea. However, Dr. Dionne-Odom and her colleagues found that the prevalence of STIs was inversely related to patient age, with gonorrhea and chlamydia positivity in 2016 being 16% for chlamydia and 3.9% for gonorrhea among women aged 18-24 years, compared with 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively, for women older than 50 years.

“As with national data on women, HIV-infected women aged 18-29 years had the highest rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia. Our results show that targeted screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea in women with HIV based on age and risk is warranted,” Dr. Dionne-Odom concluded.

Dr. Dionne-Odom reported that she had no relevant disclosures.

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