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Age-bridging among young, urban, heterosexual males with asymptomatic Chlamydia trachomatis
  1. Jacky M Jennings1,
  2. Robert F Luo2,
  3. Laura V Lloyd3,
  4. Charlotte Gaydos4,
  5. Jonathan M Ellen1,
  6. Cornelis A Rietmeijer3
  1. 1Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3STI Control Program, Denver Public Health Department, Denver, Colorado, USA
  4. 4Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J M Jennings
 Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bayview Medical Center, 5200 Eastern Avenue, Mason F Lord Building—Center Towers, 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA; jajennin{at}


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of age-bridgers among urban males aged 14–24 years, asymptomatically infected with chlamydia and to determine factors that distinguish age-bridgers from non age-bridgers. An index was defined as an age-bridger if within 2 months, he had had at least two sexual partners who differed from him in age by ⩾2 years.

Methods: Infected males provided data about themselves and up to four sexual partners in the past 2 months. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression was used in the analysis.

Results: The prevalence of age bridging was 21% in Baltimore and 26% in Denver. In both cities, in bivariate analysis, age-bridgers and their partners engaged in significantly more risky sexual behaviours. In adjusted multivariable analysis after controlling for number of sexual partners, age bridging was associated with having a sexual partner in the past 2 months, who, at time of last sexual intercourse, was drinking.

Conclusion: Age-bridgers represented major proportions of the study populations and, along with their sexual partners, were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours. Male age-bridgers may be key players in the transmission of sexually transmitted infections among youth linking age-disparate sexual networks.

  • STI, sexually transmitted infection

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  • Published Online First 6 December 2006

  • Competing interests: None.