Screening and syndromic approaches to identify gonorrhea and chlamydial infection among women (PDF)
Sloan,Nancy L.; Winikoff,Beverly; Haberland,Nicole; Coggins,Christiana; Elias,Christopher J.
Studies in Family Planning 31(1): 55-68
Publication date: 2000
The standard diagnostic tools to identify sexually transmitted infections are often expensive and have laboratory and infrastructure requirements that make them unavailable to family planning and primary health-care clinics in developing countries. Therefore, inexpensive, accessible tools that rely on symptoms, signs, and/or risk factors have been developed to identify and treat reproductive tract infections without the need for laboratory diagnostics. Studies were reviewed that used standard diagnostic tests to identify gonorrhea and cervical chlamydial infection among women and that provided adequate information about the usefulness of the tools for screening. Aggregation of the studies' results suggest that risk factors, algorithms, and risk scoring for syndromic management are poor indicators of gonorrhea and chlamydial infection in samples of both low and high prevalence and, consequently, are not effective mechanisms with which to identify or manage these conditions. The development and evaluation of other approaches to identify gonorrhea and chlamydial infections, including inexpensive and simple laboratory screening tools, periodic universal treatment, and other alternatives must be given priority.