A majority of jails in the United States rely on an opt-in (voluntary) rather than opt-out (universal) approach to testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This study compares an opt-out approach at intake to opt-in testing during incarceration and estimates the prevalence of common STIs among jail inmates. Data derive from a universal intake pilot testing program (n = 298) and an established, student-led voluntary testing program (n = 1,963), respectively. The adjusted prevalence as well as the odds of testing positive for chlamydia were significantly higher in the opt-out program (p =.025 and.008, respectively) than the opt-in program but not for gonorrhea (p =.402 and.300, respectively). These results demonstrate the potential public health benefit of implementation of universal STI testing of jail inmates.
- sexually transmitted infections
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Community and Home Care
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health