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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 49

of 'Sexually transmitted infections: Issues specific to adolescents'

Self-obtained vaginal swabs for diagnosis of treatable sexually transmitted diseases in adolescent girls.
Smith K, Harrington K, Wingood G, Oh MK, Hook EW 3rd, DiClemente RJ
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(6):676.
OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the acceptability of testing and prevalence of 3 readily treatable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) (infections with Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Trichomonas vaginalis) with the use of patient-obtained vaginal swabs.
STUDY DESIGN: Study participants at each initial session were asked to provide self-obtained vaginal swabs for ligase chain reaction testing to detect N gonorrhoeae and C trachomatis, and for culture of T vaginalis.
SETTING: Behavioral intervention sessions with African American adolescent girls in a nonclinical program to reduce risk of STDs, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and pregnancy.
RESULTS: All study participants were offered their choice of STD screening in the context of a traditional pelvic examination or using self-obtained vaginal swabs. All eligible participants chose self-administered vaginal swabs. Of the 512 participants examined at their initial study visit, 28.7% were found to be infected with 1 or more treatable STDs (5.3% with N gonorrhoeae, 17.8% with C trachomatis, and 12.9% with T vaginalis).
CONCLUSIONS: With the use of newer detection systems, STDs can be readily detected in nonclinical settings with the use of self-obtained vaginal swabs, providing new opportunities for efforts to control STDs.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 229 Tinsley Harrison Tower, 1900 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294-0006, USA. krs@uab.edu