Incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Hazardously Drinking Women After Incarceration

"At the time of incarceration, women have a high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI)," wrote the authors, who noted that women remain at high risk for new infections in the months following community release. In the current report, the team assessed the rates and predictors of incident chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis after incarceration in a sample of hazardously drinking women.

The study involved a total of 245 incarcerated women; the participants self-reported behavioral data. At baseline and three- and six-month time points, vaginal swabs were collected and tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Treatment was provided in response to all positive tests.

The participants comprised 175 Caucasians (71.4 percent), 47 African Americans (19.2 percent), 17 Hispanics (6.9 percent) and six women of other ethnic origins (2.4 percent). The researchers estimated the STI incidence rate to be 30.5 new infections per 100 person-years (95 percent confidence interval, 21.3-43.5). "Number of male sex partners reported during follow-up was a significant (z=2.16; p=.03) predictor of STI; each additional male sex partner increased the estimated hazard of STI by 1.26," according to the results.

"Incarcerated women who are hazardous drinkers are at high risk for STI in the months after their return to the community. In addition to testing and treatment during incarceration, post-release rescreening, education, partner treatment, and follow-up are recommended," the authors concluded.