Since 2003, U.S. organizations have recommended universal screening, rather than targeted screening, of HIV-infected persons for gonorrhea (NG) and Chlamydia (CT). Our objective was to determine whether wider testing resulting from these guidelines would produce an increase in NG/CT diagnoses.
We studied 3,283 patients receiving HIV care 1999–2007 in the Johns Hopkins Hospital HIV clinic. The two primary outcomes were: 1) the occurrence of any NG/CT testing in each year of care and 2) the occurrence of any positive result(s) in years of testing. The proportion of all patients in care who were diagnosed with NG/CT was defined as the number of patients with positive results divided by the number of patients in care. Trends were analyzed with repeated measures logistic regression.
The proportion of patients tested for NG/CT increased steadily from 0.12 in 1999 to 0.33 in 2007 (OR per year for being tested, 1.17 [1.15, 1.19]). The proportion positive among those tested decreased significantly after 2003 (OR per year 0.67 [0.55, 0.81]). The proportion of all patients in care diagnosed with NG/CT therefore remained generally stable 1999–2007 (OR per year 0.97 [0.91, 1.04]).
Universal annual screening, as implemented, did not increase the proportion of all patients in care who were diagnosed with NG/CT. Similarly low implementation rates have been reported in cross-sectional studies. If future efforts to enhance implementation do not yield increases in diagnoses, then guidelines focusing on targeted screening of high risk groups rather than universal screening may be warranted.