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STI Screening Improves With Free, Home-Based Testing

Last Updated: April 11, 2012.

The availability of free and home-based screening tests for sexually transmitted infections is associated with a higher rate of screening completion, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The availability of free and home-based screening tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is associated with a higher rate of screening completion, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

To determine predictors of completion of free annual STI screening among women aged 25 years or younger, Stephanie L. Skala, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,607 sexually active women from the prospective cohort Contraceptive CHOICE Project. A completed screen was defined as receipt of either a home- or clinic-based screening test kit within 56 days of completing the 12-month survey.

The researchers found that 57 percent of women completed the screen for STIs. Women with a college education or higher were significantly more likely to complete the screen (adjusted relative risk, 1.2). In addition, the availability of home-based testing was associated with a significantly higher screening completion (adjusted relative risk, 1.3).

"Among a group of young women for whom annual STI screening is recommended, we found that screening increases among educated women and with the availability of home-based testing," the authors conclude. "It is important to understand the characteristics of the women who complete recommended STI screening to determine missed opportunities for successful screening."

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