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Sexually transmitted diseases in incarcerated adolescents

Joesoef, M Riduan; Kahn, Richard H; Weinstock, Hillard S

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: February 2006 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 44–48
doi: 10.1097/01.qco.0000199020.58075.1a
Sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections

Purpose of review The objectives of this review are to summarize recent developments in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted disease in incarcerated adolescents and to review screening and treatment recommendations for sexually transmitted disease in juvenile corrections facilities.

Recent findings The introduction of non-invasive, urine-based nucleic acid-amplification tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea has led to a dramatic increase in the ability to screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea in non-traditional settings, including corrections facilities. The prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhea has been uniformly high in incarcerated adolescents. The prevalences of chlamydia and gonorrhea in adolescents aged 18–19 years incarcerated in adult corrections facilities were higher than those incarcerated in juvenile facilities. The prevalence was higher in incarcerated adolescent women than adolescent men and in black adolescents than non-black adolescents. Screening for chlamydia in incarcerated adolescents has been shown to be a cost-effective strategy for preventing adverse health consequences. Syphilis prevalence in incarcerated adolescents is relatively low. Hepatitis B is relatively common among incarcerated adolescents.

Summary The high prevalence of chlamydia in incarcerated adolescents and gonorrhea in incarcerated adolescent women suggests that screening of these populations should be a priority. The reasons for the higher prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhea in young adults aged 18–19 years incarcerated in selected adult corrections facilities compared with those incarcerated in juvenile facilities should be investigated. Hepatitis B virus vaccination in juvenile correction facilities is recommended to prevent and control the transmission of this disease.

Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Correspondence to R.H. Kahn, Division of STD Prevention, Mailstop: E02, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA Tel: +1 404 639 8956; fax: +1 404 639 8610; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.