To assess STD prevalence among a sample of incarcerated minority male youth in a southern US city.
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.
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).
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.
*From the Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia; the †Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; and the Departments of ‡Internal Medicine and §Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama
Supported by Dissertation Research Award #RO3 MH57177-01 from the National Institute of Mental Health Office on AIDS (Dr. Pack).
Correspondence: Robert Pack, PhD, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, P.O. Box 9190, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190. E-mail: email@example.com
Received for publication May 15, 1999, revised September 30, 1999, and accepted October 8, 1999.