High burden of chlamydia and gonorrhoea in pharyngeal, rectal and urethral sites among Thai transgender women: implications for anatomical site selection for the screening of STI.Sex Transm Infect. 2019 11; 95(7):534-539.ST
Comprehensive data on Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections to guide screening services among transgender women (TGW) are limited. We studied the burden of CT/NG infections in pharyngeal, rectal and urethral sites of Thai TGW and determined missed CT/NG diagnoses if selected site screening was performed.
Thai TGW were enrolled to the community-led test and treat cohort. CT/NG screening was performed from pharyngeal swab, rectal swab and urine using nucleic acid amplification test. CT/NG prevalence in each anatomical site was analysed, along with the relationships of CT/NG among the three anatomical sites.
Of 764 TGW included in the analysis, 232 (30.4%) had CT/NG infections at any anatomical site, with an overall incidence of 23.7 per 100 person-years. The most common CT/NG infections by anatomical site were rectal CT (19.5%), rectal NG (9.6%) and pharyngeal NG (8.1%). Among 232 TGW with CT/NG infections at any anatomical site, 22%-94.4% of infections would have been missed if single anatomical site testing was conducted, depending on the selected site. Among 668 TGW who tested negative at pharyngeal site, 20.4% had either rectal or urethral infections. Among 583 TGW who tested negative at the rectal site, 8.7% had either pharyngeal or urethral infections. Among 751 TGW who tested negative at the urethral site, 19.2% had either pharyngeal or rectal infections.
Almost one-third of Thai TGW had CT/NG infections. All-site screening is highly recommended to identify these infections, but if not feasible rectal screening provides the highest yield of CT/NG diagnoses. Affordable molecular technologies and/or CT/NG screening in pooled samples from different anatomical sites are urgently needed.
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