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Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Screening in the U.S.

May 28, 2021 | Julia Zigman, Guest Author

Researchers analyzed how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted testing for common sexually transmitted infections in a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Among patients aged 14–49 years, they assessed changes in chlamydia and gonorrhea testing and case detection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing was shown to reach a nadir in early April 2020, with reductions (relative to the baseline level) of 59% and 63% for female and male patients, respectively. Experts found a strong link between declines in testing and rises in weekly positivity rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

The findings show an influence of COVID-19 pandemic on routine sexually transmitted infection services, indicating an increment in syndromic sexually transmitted infection testing and missed asymptomatic cases.

To evaluate the long-term implications of missed screening opportunities, there will be required follow-up analyses. These data should signify warning for the potential sexual as well as reproductive health implications that can be anticipated from the overall reduction in testing and potential missed cases.

Read the full article on American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Summary excerpted from MdLinx.


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About Julia Zigman

Pronouns: she/her

Julia Zigman is a Program Analyst on the NACCHO HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis team. Julia focuses primarily on NACCHO’s Ending the HIV Epidemic portfolio and is a lead staff member for the HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Workgroup. Learn more about these programs here.

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About Guest Author

NACCHO periodically invites guest authors to write first-person accounts of their work in public health. To submit your own story for consideration, please visit our form.

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