Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Chlamydial Infection Treatment in Women Discharged From an Urban Safety-Net Emergency Unit

Eunsol Park, Kristin S. Alvarez, Michael Harms, Courtney Johnson, William Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Chlamydia is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted infection. COVID-19 exacerbated the challenges in treating and preventing new Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections. This study examined the impact of COVID-19 on treating CT-positive patients discharged from a safety-net women's emergency unit. Methods This was a preretrospective and postretrospective cohort study. Chlamydia trachomatis-positive female patients seen in the women's emergency unit were evaluated. Patients discharged in 2019, the "pre-COVID-19"group, and those discharged in 2020, the "COVID-19"group, were compared. The primary outcome was CT treatment within 30 days, and secondary outcomes included prescription dispensation, repeat tests taken, and expedited partner treatment. A subgroup of patients discharged before treatment who entered a nurse-led follow-up program was also evaluated. Results Of the 1357 cases included, there were no differences in successful 30-day treatment (709 of 789 [89.9%] vs. 568 of 511 [89.9%], P = 0.969) or repeat positive CT test (74 of 333 [22.2%] vs. 46 of 211 [21.8%]), P = 0.36) between pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19. However, the patients who picked up their prescription (196 of 249 [78.7%] vs. 180 of 206 [87.4%], P = 0.021) and those who were prescribed expedited partner therapy (156 of 674 [23.1%] vs. 292 of 460 [63.5%], P < 0.001) increased. Findings in the subgroup of patients who entered the follow-up program were consistent with those in the full cohort. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic did not change treatment patterns of CT-positive patients in this safety-net women's emergency unit. However, patients were more likely to pick up their medications during COVID-19. Despite the perseverance of these programs through the pandemic, most patients are discharged before positive results, and a fair amount remain untreated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-705
Number of pages6
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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