School of Public Health

Anna Unutzer

Evaluation of text message reminders to encourage re-testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea among female patients at the municipal STD Clinic in Seattle, WA

Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) are bacterial sexually transmitted infections and are the most commonly reported infections in the United States. Infections with CT or GC can lead to adverse health effects for women, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal factor infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. Women are at high risk for re-infection with CT or GC after having a previous confirmed positive test for either CT or GC. Given the high probability of re-infection and data suggesting that the risk of adverse reproductive health outcomes increases with repeat infection, the CDC recommends that women with a previous positive test be re-tested 3-4 months after an initial positive test. However, re-testing rates have been found to be sub-optimal. This low re-testing rate has implications for re-infection, potential to spread chlamydia and gonorrhea infection to sex partners, and future health complications. This study seeks to evaluate a text message reminder intervention in a municipal STD clinic setting for effectiveness to encourage women to re-test for CT and GC after an initial infection.