Increased gonorrhoea and chlamydia testing did not increase case detection in an HIV clinical cohort 1999-2007

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Since 2003, US organisations have recommended universal screening, rather than targeted screening, of HIV-infected persons for gonorrhoea and chlamydia. The objective of this study was to determine whether wider testing resulting from these guidelines would produce an increase in gonorrhoea/chlamydia diagnoses. Methods: 3283 patients receiving HIV care in 1999-2007 in the Johns Hopkins Hospital HIV clinic were studied. The two primary outcomes were the occurrence of any gonorrhoea/chlamydia testing in each year of care and the occurrence of any positive result(s) in years of testing. The proportion of all patients in care who were diagnosed with gonorrhoea/chlamydia was defined as the number of patients with positive results divided by the number of patients in care. Trends were analysed with repeated measures logistic regression. Results: The proportion of patients tested for gonorrhoea/chlamydia increased steadily from 0.12 in 1999 to 0.33 in 2007 (OR per year for being tested 1.17, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.19). The proportion positive among those tested decreased significantly after 2003 (OR per year 0.67, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.81). The proportion of all patients in care diagnosed with gonorrhoea/chlamydia therefore remained generally stable in 1999-2007 (OR per year 0.97, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.04). Conclusions: Universal annual screening, as implemented, did not increase the proportion of all patients in care who were diagnosed with gonorrhoea/ chlamydia. Similarly low implementation rates have been reported in cross-sectional studies. If future efforts to enhance implementation do not yield increases in diagnoses, then guidelines focusing on targeted screening of high-risk groups rather than universal screening may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-475
Number of pages7
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this