A Retrospective Study of the Incidence of Bacterial Sexually Transmitted Infection (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) in the Mississippi Delta Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia infections, are prevalent worldwide, in the United States, and in Mississippi (MS). The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the healthcare system, particularly in disadvantaged areas such as the MS Delta. Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records of three clinics in the MS Delta was conducted during pre-COVID-19 (July 2019 to September 2019) and in the same months (July 2020 to September 2020) during COVID-19 in 2020. Patients tested for STIs were identified using infection diagnosis codes. We calculated percentages and means for demographic variables, changes between the two years, and computed the percentage of patients who tested positive for each year. Results: Out of the 25 patients tested for STIs, 11 were tested in 2019 and 14 in 2020. Among those tested in 2019 compared to 2020, patients were younger (average age: 34.3 years in 2019 vs. 29.6 years in 2020), had a larger percentage of females (81.2% in 2019 vs. 50.0% in 2020) and African Americans (72.7% in 2019 vs. 57.1% in 2020), and more were uninsured (27.3% in 2019 vs. 42.9% in 2020). Of the three clinics, clinic #1 tested most patients (72.7% in 2019 vs. 64.3% in 2020). Among the tested patients, 0% had confirmed positive results in 2019 and 21.4% in 2020. The incidence of positive results in 2020 was 7.1% for chlamydia and 14.3% for gonorrhea. Conclusion: The incidence of gonorrhea and chlamydia increased during COVID-19 in 2020. So, it is of paramount importance to encourage increased testing and targeted interventions for high-risk groups for STIs.







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Medicine and Health Sciences


sexually transmitted infection (sti), mississippi delta, gonorrhea, covid-19, chlamydia

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series