Internet-accessed STI testing increases uptake in teenagers, young adults

  • Wilson E & al.
  • Sex Transm Infect
  • 7 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Internet-accessed (e) sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing services delivered with usual care appear to increase uptake, reduce time-to-test in community-based, young, never-testers aged 16-30 years.
  • Strategies to manage additional demand of e-testing unclear.

Why this matters

  • Offering e-testing services alongside usual care increases overall STI testing among vulnerable and test-averse adolescents, young adults.
  • Ensure that STI testing includes sexual health information, access to condoms/other contraception, understanding/direction to additional, face-to-face services.

Key results

  • 437 patients included (213/244 intervention group, 224/284 control).
  • At 6 weeks, 45.3% vs 24.1%, intervention, controls, respectively, completed ≥1 STI test (relative risk [RR], 1.88, P<.001>
  • For chlamydia/gonorrhea testing combined, 44.3% vs 24.1%, intervention, controls, respectively, completed a test (RR, 1.84, P<.001>
  • Over 42 days, time to test was 29.0 vs 36.3 days, intervention, controls, respectively, difference, 7.3 (95% CI, 4.5-10.1) days (P<.001>
  • Among test completers, 4.3% (n=4) vs 2.3% (n=1), intervention, controls, respectively, tested positive for an STI.

Study design

  • Secondary analysis of RCT data evaluating effects of e-STI testing on uptake of any STI test, chlamydia/gonorrhea tests, and time to test among a subgroup of young (16-30 years) English never-testers.
  • Funding: Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity.

Limitations

  • Insufficiently powered to assess outcomes in later-care cascade.
  • Recruitment/exposure bias.

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