Background Despite interventions to reduce Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) rates in women, rates have increased or remained stable, particularly for African American (AA) women. Men could be a potential reservoir of infection yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend screening men stating lack of evidence for feasibility and potential to reduce infection in women. The purpose of this study was to explore if venue-based screening is feasible and has high-yield.
Methods Venue-based screening (e.g. barbershops, colleges, community events) was conducted between March–December 2018 among AA men aged 15–24 who had sex with at least one woman in the last two months and spent most of their time in New Orleans. Men were offered a modest incentive, were screened for Ct via urine NAAT and underwent an audio/computer-assisted self-administered survey eliciting information about sexual partners
Results Of 599 men screened, 590 (98.5%) enrolled. Men enrolled received Medicaid (60.9%), were Ct tested in the last year (29.3%), reported a history of Ct (12.7%), were asymptomatic (97.1%) and 9.3% were Ct+. Men reported 873 partners (average 2.2, s.d. 1.4). Most of these partners were someone he knew for a long time (69.9%) or met through people in his social network (14.4%), were able to be re-contacted (80.1%), and with whom future sexual contact was planned 61.4%. In over one-third of partnerships (35.4%) men believed that their partner was having sex with one of his friends. Most men (53.3%) found out about the program from someone in their social network.
Conclusion Venue-based screening of young AA heterosexual men is feasible, detected a high rate of Ct infection, most partners were from social networks and could be re-contacted. Screening of young AA men has the potential to identify infected sexual networks and ultimately could reduce Ct disparities among men and women.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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