Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
Original Articles

High Prevalence of Asymptomatic STDs in Incarcerated Minority Male Youth: A Case for Screening

Pack, Robert P. PhD*; Diclemente, Ralph J. PhD; Hook, Edward W. III MD; Oh, M. Kim MD§

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Abstract

Background and Objectives:: To assess STD prevalence among a sample of incarcerated minority male youth in a southern US city.

Methods:: A consecutive entrant, cross‐sectional study of 284 minority males 14 to 18 years was performed. All adolescents were screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia using ligase chain reaction tests.

Results:: Eighteen percent of youth were identified as having either gonorrhea, chlamydia, or both. Approximately 84% of those with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) self‐reported having no symptoms. Failure to use condoms in the past month was significantly associated with a positive test result for STDs (odds ratio = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1‐3.3).

Conclusions:: The findings indicate an urgent need for routine STD screening and STD‐prevention programs for adolescent males in detention facilities. A study of 284 detained black male adolescents revealed 18% prevalence of gonorrhea, chlamydia, or both. Approximately 84% of those with sexually transmitted diseases self‐reported not having symptoms.

© Copyright 2000 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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