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Feasibility and Short-Term Impact of Linked Education and Urine Screening Interventions for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in Male Army Recruits

Arcari, Christine M. PhD, MPH*; Gaydos, Joel C. MD, MPH; Howell, M Renee PhD; McKee, Kelly T. MD, MPH; Gaydos, Charlotte A. DrPH, MS, MPH§

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: July 2004 - Volume 31 - Issue 7 - p 443-447
doi: 10.1097/01.OLQ.0000129950.91427.34
Article

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of an intervention for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and a screening program for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections in male Army recruits.

Goals: The goals of this study were to identify and treat chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in recruits, assess their perceptions of risk, and increase their STD knowledge and behavioral intentions.

Study Design: Volunteers (n = 3911) entering basic training (July 1999–June 2000) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, attended an educational intervention, completed pre- and post-questionnaires, and provided a urine specimen for chlamydia and gonorrhea screening by nucleic acid amplification testing.

Results: Chlamydia and gonorrhea prevalences were 4.7% and 0.4%, respectively. The mean STD knowledge score, intent to use condoms, and confidence in using condoms correctly increased (P <0.001). Participants reported increased risk perception and considered the educational program valuable (96.9%) and a learning experience (94.6%).

Conclusions: A linked educational and screening program is feasible and acceptable in male Army recruits.

A combined STD education and screening program for chlamydia and gonorrhea was found to be both feasible and acceptable in a large male U.S. Army recruit population.

From Johns Hopkins University, *Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; U.S. Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance & Response System, Silver Spring, Maryland; and §Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

This study was supported by the Health Promotion and Prevention Initiatives (No. 10021), U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent those of The University of Wisconsin, Madison, The Johns Hopkins University, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.

This study was approved by the Johns Hopkins University Joint Committee for Clinical Investigation and by the Institutional Review Board for Fort Jackson, SC, at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA. Informed consent was obtained from all study participants, and the human experimentation guidelines of the authors’ institutions were followed in the conduct of the clinical research.

Correspondence: Christine M. Arcari, PhD, MPH, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Population Health Sciences, WARF 605, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI 53562. E-mail: carcari@wisc.edu

Received for publication November 24, 2003, and accepted March 10, 2004.

© Copyright 2004 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association