A Method for Identifying Persons at High Risk for Sexually Transmitted Infections: Opportunity for Targeting Intervention

Richert, Charles A.; Peterman, Thomas A.; Zaidi, Akbar A.; Ransom, Raymond L.; Wroten, Jack E.; Witte, John J.
April 1993
American Journal of Public Health;Apr93, Vol. 83 Issue 4, p520
Academic Journal
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to identify persons at high risk for acquiring new sexually transmitted infections. Methods. Computerized medical records from sexually transmitted disease clinics in Dade County, Florida, were used to conduct a retrospective cohort study. For all patients who visited in 1987, risk factors were identified for returning to the clinics within a year with a new sexually transmitted infection. Predictor variables were derived from the index visit and any visits in the year prior to the index visit. Logistic regression was used to develop a model that was applied to all patients who attended in 1989. Results. Of 24 439 patients attending in 1987, 18.5% returned within a year with a new infection. Return rates were highest for 15-to 19-year-old Black males (31.8%). The highest odds ratios for returning were a diagnosis or treatment for an infection in the previous year and a diagnosis or treatment for infection at the index visit. The patients predicted to be at highest risk had a 39% return rate. There were as many new infections among the 2893 patients at highest risk as there were among the 13 326 patients at lowest risk. Conclusions. We developed a model that identified persons at very high risk for sexually transmitted infection. These persons should be targeted for intensive intervention to reduce their risk.


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