Comparison of Opt-In Versus Opt-Out Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Inmates in a County Jail

Raees A. Shaikh, Kari A. Simonsen, Anne O’Keefe, Mary Earley, Mark Foxall, K. M. Islam, Austin Person, Cole Boyle, Uriel Sandkovsky, Ruth Margalit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A majority of jails in the United States rely on an opt-in (voluntary) rather than opt-out (universal) approach to testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This study compares an opt-out approach at intake to opt-in testing during incarceration and estimates the prevalence of common STIs among jail inmates. Data derive from a universal intake pilot testing program (n = 298) and an established, student-led voluntary testing program (n = 1,963), respectively. The adjusted prevalence as well as the odds of testing positive for chlamydia were significantly higher in the opt-out program (p =.025 and.008, respectively) than the opt-in program but not for gonorrhea (p =.402 and.300, respectively). These results demonstrate the potential public health benefit of implementation of universal STI testing of jail inmates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Correctional Health Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • jail
  • opt-in
  • opt-out
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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