Adolescents and young adults account for a large proportion of reported sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the United States. Job Corps routinely tests for Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis (optional).
Chlamydia infection rates for this age group have steadily increased. Young women, ages 15-19 years old have the highest rate of Chlamydia when compared with any other group (CDC). Chlamydia is known as a "silent" disease because the majority of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If untreated, Chlamydia infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems, and, like the absence of symptoms, the damage caused can be "silent" (CDC).
All Chlamydia samples must be sent to the nationally contracted laboratory. The CDC recommends testing for reinfection at 3 months. Job Corps medical specialists recommend retesting at 1-3 months due to high rates of reinfection.
See the Chlamydia Infection Treatment Guideline for more information on treating Chlamydia. For additional information visit CDCs Chlamydia webpage.
Gonorrhea is a common STI, especially among young people age 15-24. CDC estimates that 820,000 people in the United States get new gonorrheal infections annually, and less than half of these infections are detected and reported to CDC.
In Job Corps, all female students are tested on entry for gonorrhea. Males are tested if a urine leukocyte esterase screen is positive. Centers may send specimens either to an outside laboratory or to the nationally contracted laboratory.
See the Gonoccocal Treatment Guideline for more information on treating gonorrhea. For additional information visit CDCs Gonorrhea webpage.
According to the CDC, the number of primary and secondary syphilis cases reported each year in the United States nearly doubled since 2005. During the 1990s, syphilis occurred most often in heterosexual men and women of racial and ethnic minorities. Since 2000, syphilis has increased in men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM accounted for 75% of all primary and secondary syphilis cases in recent years.
Syphilis screening in Job Corps is optional. The Center Physician may choose to continue screening for syphilis on entry if there is a significant prevalence in the center population.
See the Syphilis Treatment Guideline for more information on treating syphilis. For additional information visit CDCs Syphilis webpage.
CDC estimates that, 776,000 people in the United States contract genital herpes annually. The overall prevalence of genital herpes (HSV-1 and HSV-2) is greater than 16 percent of the US population.
See the Genital Herpes Treatment Guideline for more information on treating genital herpes. For additional information visit CDC's Genital Herpes webpage.
See the HIV/AIDS section for more information.
Hepatitis can be transmitted through sexual activity.
Additional information on STDs and Viral Hepatitis can be found on CDCs STDs and Viral Hepatitis webpage. See the Viral Hepatitis Treatment Guideline for more information on treating viral hepatitis.
Additional information on other STIs is available through the CDCs Sexually Transmitted Diseases webpage. For more information see the most recent CDC STI Treatment Guidelines.
Prevention & Education
Primary prevention of STIs includes immunization against hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, all of which can be sexually transmitted. Unimmunized individuals should be vaccinated with:
- Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine at 0 and 6 months
- Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine at 0, 1, 5 months
- Three doses of human papillomavirus vaccine at 0, 2, 6 months
Abstinence and condom use are among the most effective ways to prevent STIs. Strategies to encourage condom use include:
- Make condoms available to students in a discreet location (e.g., a rest room)
- Teach condom negotiation skills
- Encourage students to use condoms in addition to other forms of birth control
Partner notification is an effective method to curb the spread of a STI. Partner notification laws vary from state to state and disease by disease. Your public health department should provide you with guidance on notifying an infected student's partners. Many times a public health worker will notify the partner; however, individuals with STIs are encouraged to speak to their partners themselves.