Young people aged less than 25 years bear the highest burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. Here we sought to characterize patients aged 15–24 compared with patients ≥age 25 utilizing a database of first visits to two STI clinics in Baltimore, USA from 2011 to 2016. Acute STI (aSTI) was defined as gonorrhea (GC), trichomonas, or early syphilis (ES) in women and non-gonococcal urethritis, GC, Chlamydia (CT), and ES in men. Proportions were compared using the Chi square test and logistic regression was used to assess aSTI predictors in younger versus older groups, stratified by gender. Fifteen thousand four hundred and sixty-three first visits for patients <25 and 25,203 for patients ≥25 were analyzed. Participants <25 were more likely to be Black and less likely to self-identify as straight than those ≥25. While younger patients had more partners, they were less likely to report risk behaviors such as ‘Never’ using condoms, cocaine use, and sex with alcohol than older patients. Predictors of aSTI risk differed both by age and gender. STI prevention messages should be tailored, and access to screening should be optimized for young men and women, in order to address rising STI rates in this population.
- Young patient
- sexually transmitted diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases