Percent of adolescents who were ever diagnosed and treated for an STI

The percent of adolescents who have ever been diag­nosed as having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and received treatment

This indicator is calculated as:

(# of adolescents ever diagnosed and treated for an STI/ Total # of adolescents) x 100

 


Responses to survey questions on whether adolescents had ever been diagnosed as having an STI and received treatment.  Questions include:

  • Has a physician or nurse ever told you that you had an STI? 
  • Have you ever tested positive for an STI?
  • Did a physician or nurse provide treatment for your STI?

Evaluators may want to disaggregate by the following age ranges: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24.


Surveys of program participants or youth in the program‘s intended population


Along with reducing the incidence of adolescent preg­nancy, reducing the incidence of STIs among adoles­cents is an important objective of many adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) programs.  STIs, including HIV, are integrally linked to SRH. STIs (e.g., gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HPV) constitute a significant health burden and can cause pregnancy-related complications, including spontaneous abortions, premature birth, stillbirth, congenital infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer and infertility. Next to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, STIs are the leading cause of health problems for women of reproductive age (UNFPA, 2011). STIs also increase the risk of transmission of HIV.

This indicator provides a relevant long-term outcome measure for programs addressing STIs, particularly among adolescents.


Because the indicator is a "lifetime“ measure, it does not measure incidence or prevalence for specific reference periods, although evaluators can derive an incidence-like measure by ob­taining information on the dates of episodes of STIs. The measure is, however, crude and suffers from sev­eral biases. First, many STIs lack recognizable symp­toms; thus, the indicator will underestimate the true percent of adolescents who have ever contracted an STI. Second, those adolescents who were diagnosed with an STI, but never received treatment, will not be counted in this indicator.  Thirdly, because STIs imply that respondents have en­gaged in behaviors stigmatized in many settings, the indicator is prone to under-reporting in survey inter­view situations. Thus, the indicator will provide a lower-bound estimate in most settings.


access, sexually transmitted infection (STI), adolescent, cervical cancer

UNFPA, 2011, Breaking the Cycle of Sexually Transmitted Infections, New York: UNFPA. http://www.unfpa.org/rh/stis.htm

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