Background: In April of 2011, the Cook County Jail initiated opt-out screening of all women for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) at the time of intake. In this retrospective review, we assess the impact of opt-out protocol on rates of testing, diagnoses, and successful treatment.
Methods: We collected the results of all CT and GC tests ordered during intake from April 2011 through December 2012 and reviewed the medical chart of every patient with a positive result for documentation of treatment. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to examine the factors associated with receipt of treatment.
Results: Opt-out screening increased the number of diagnoses by more than 4-fold (from 9.3 to 40.8 cases/mo). Among 17,065 women eligible for screening, 3729 (22%) women opted out of screening, and screening was completed in 9265 (54.2%). There were 235 (2.5%) gonococcal infections and 702 (7.6%) chlamydial infections. Of 866 women with a positive test result, 602 (69.5%) received treatment while in jail. In multivariable analysis, older age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14–2.63), pregnancy (aOR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.22–5.18), and longer length of stay in jail (aOR, 18.1; 95% CI, 11.7–28.1) were associated with greater likelihood of treatment.
Conclusions: Women entering the Cook County Jail have high prevalence of GC/CT infections. Opt-out screening increased the number of GC and CT diagnoses made, and a high proportion of women were treated while incarcerated. Significant challenges remain in ensuring that screening is completed for all women who do not opt out and in providing treatment to women with short duration of incarceration.