Background: Early sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosis facilitates prompt treatment initiation and contributes to reduced transmission. This study examined the extent to which contextual characteristics such as proximity to screening site, rurality, and neighborhood disadvantage along with demographic variables, may influence treatment seeking behavior among individuals with STIs (i.e., chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis). Methods: Data on 16,075 diagnosed cases of STIs between 2007 and 2018 in Yakima County were obtained from the Washington State Department of Health Database Surveillance System. Multilevel models were applied to explore the associations between contextual and demographic characteristics and two outcomes: (a) not receiving treatment and (b) the number of days to receiving treatment. Results: Contextual risk factors for not receiving treatment or having increased number of days to treatment were living ≥10 miles from the screening site and living in micropolitan, small towns, or rural areas. Older age was a protective factor and being female was a risk for both outcomes. Conclusions: Healthcare providers and facilities should be made aware of demographic and contextual characteristics that can impact treatment seeking behavior among individuals with STIs, especially among youth, females, and rural residents.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|State||Published - 2 Apr 2020|
- Proximity to testing site
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Yakima County