We carried out a study to identify the risk factors for chlamydial infection in partners of infected individuals. Individuals are attending a genitourinary clinic as chlamydia contacts were identified and asked to complete a questionnaire about their relationship with the index case and their prior sexual history. The result of their chlamydia test was then analyzed against those variables.
One hundred fifteen chlamydia contacts were analysed in this study; 60 were positive for chlamydial infection. In a multivariate analysis, young age, more than one episode of sexual intercourse with the infected partner and a greater total number of sexual partners were associated with a positive chlamydia result. A prediction model for chlamydial infection using these risk factors had a discriminatory ability quantified by AUC of 0.76.
The study concluded that risk factors identified can be used when discussing epidemiological treatment with individuals who attend sexual health services as chlamydia contacts or target clinic resources to a higher-risk group. More extensive studies will be necessary to assess the benefits and risks of changing to a policy of offering epidemiologic treatment to ‘high-risk’ contacts only, identified using a predictive model such as the one described here.
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