USPSTF issues screening recommendations for chlamydia and gonorrhea

Sept. 15, 2021

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a final recommendation on screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea. The task force recommends screening for these infections in sexually active women and pregnant people who are 24 years old and younger, or 25 years old and older if they are at increased risk.

The task force also concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for these infections in men.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are among the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the US. Approximately 1.8 million cases of chlamydia and more than 600,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019.

The rate of chlamydia infection among women (698.9 cases per 100,000 women) was nearly double the rate among men (399.9 cases per 100,000 men). Gonorrhea infection was more prevalent in men (224.4 cases per 100,000 men) than in women (152.6 cases per 100,000 women). Infection rates are highest among adolescents and young adults of both sexes. In 2019 almost two-thirds (61.0%) of all reported chlamydia infections, and in 2018 more than half (54.1%) of new gonococcal infections, were among persons aged 15 to 24 years.

To diagnose Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections, labs generally use nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs).

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