Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections after Cervical Cancer Screening Guideline and Medicaid Policy Changes

Natasha Parekh, Julie M. Donohue, Jennifer Corbelli, Aiju Men, David Kelley, Marian Jarlenski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening prevents complications and is cost-effective. Annual screening is recommended in sexually active women below 25 years and older women at increased risk. Cervical cancer (CC) screening guideline changes in 2009 and 2012 recommended less frequent screening, causing concern that STI screening would decrease. Pennsylvania Medicaid implemented a family planning program in 2007 which covered women's health services (including STI testing) for uninsured women. It is unclear how STI screening was affected by these countervailing forces. Objective: The main objective of this study was to assess STI screening before and after CC screening guideline changes and family planning program implementation, and to determine factors associated with STI screening. Research Design: This study was an observational cross-sectional study of Pennsylvania Medicaid administrative claims from 2007 to 2013. Subjects: Sixteen-year-old to 30-year-old women enrolled in Pennsylvania Medicaid. Measures: Annual STI screening, defined as receipt of ≥1 STI test in respective 1-year periods. Results: Our population included 1,226,079 women-years for 467,143 women. STI screening increased by 48% between 2007 and 2011, and stabilized by 2013. Odds for STI screening were higher among black compared with white women [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 2.56; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.60-3.10]; Hispanic compared with non-Hispanic women (AOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.39-1.46); family planning program enrollees (AOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.40-1.45); and urban compared with rural residents (AOR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.06). Conclusions: STI screening dramatically increased between 2007 and 2011. Potential reasons are family planning program implementation, increased urine/vaginal testing, and reporting improvements. It is reassuring that STI screening did not decrease despite CC screening guideline changes. Between 2011 and 2013, rates stabilized at 45% among all women and 60% among sexually active women below 25 years, suggesting opportunities for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Medicaid
  • cervical cancer screening
  • guideline changes
  • screening for sexually transmitted infections


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