This study assessed the viability of screening for chlamydia & gonorrhea in women and men purchasing emergency contraception at pharmacies. Because of their high risk profile, emergency contraception users represent a missed opportunity for sexually transmitted disease (STD) counseling and screening, particularly for Chlamydia/Gonorrhea. Previous research indicates that emergency contraception users are less likely to have visited a gynecologist in the past 12 months, and are five times more likely to report ever having an STD compared to non-users (29 vs. 6 percent). The study established baseline Chlamydia/Gonorrhea prevalence by offering in-house testing and free take-home kits to females presenting at pharmacies for emergency contraception. A kit was made available to the sex partner, if a male presented.
Four participants (5 percent) were positive for Chlamydia and two for Gonorrhea. Seventy five percent of the participants were under 25 years of age, 51 percent were White, 16 percent were Hispanic, 22 percent were Black and 76 percent had not yet completed college. Over half (57 percent) reported not using birth control at their last encounter but 64 percent indicated they usually use condoms. Only 15 percent report having had an STD test in the past year, although 63 percent had a new sex partner in the past three months and 62 percent have used emergency contraception before. Ninety three percent thought pharmacies should offer STD testing and 64 percent would buy an STD test kit at the pharmacy if it cost $25 or less.
Report Title: Behind the Counter Emergency Contraception: Exploring an Opportunity for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Testing in the Pharmacy Setting
Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Federal Contact: Thomas Chapel, 404-639-2116
Performer: National Network of Public Health Institutes, cooperative agreement; Public Health Solutions, contractor
Record ID: 9597 (December 31, 2012)