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Chlamydia Prevalence Among College Students: Reproductive and Public Health Implications

James, Adelbert B. PhD, MPH*; Simpson, Tina Y. MD, MPH; Chamberlain, William A. MPA*

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: June 2008 - Volume 35 - Issue 6 - p 529-532
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181676697

Background: Routine chlamydia screening is not readily available at all college campuses.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis among asymptomatic college students and to compare chlamydia positivity by selected demographic variables.

Methods: Analysis of demographical data collected on 789 students who volunteered for a urine screening of C. trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrheae infections at 10 colleges in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.

Results: The median age was 20 years. The chlamydia prevalence among all students was 9.7%. Students under the age of 20 years were 66% more likely to be infected than were older students (95% CI 1.01–2.73). Younger female students were 92% more likely to be infected than were older female students (95% CI 1.03–3.59).

Conclusions: The chlamydia prevalence was higher in younger college students; more screening efforts and increased awareness are needed to reduce the prevalence of chlamydial infections among students.

Data findings on 789 college students screened at 10 colleges and universities in the South revealed that younger students were 66% more likely to have Chlamydia trachomatis infections than older students.

From the *Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; and †Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama

The authors acknowledge the support of the Region IV Infertility Prevention Project advisory committee, the staff at the Emory University Regional Training Center, local health departments, and student health centers for their efforts in promoting the chlamydia awareness campaign.

The authors acknowledge Gen Probe, Beck and Dickenson for their laboratory contribution to the Region IV chlamydia awareness campaign and local health departments.

Correspondence: Adelbert B. James, PhD, MPH, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Edgewood Ave, NE, Room 802, Atlanta, GA 30024. E-mail:

Received for publication December 18, 2006, and accepted January 2, 2008.

© Copyright 2008 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association