Novel community-based chlamydia screening program for young Black men is cost-effective

December 30, 2021

1 min read

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Disclosures:
Stoecker reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

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A novel community-based chlamydia screening program meant to reach young Black men in New Orleans proved to be cost-effective, according to a recent modeling study.

“Young Black men are screened for chlamydia at lower rates compared to other population groups. Community screening outreach programs frequently focus on women and omit this group,” Charles Stoecker, PhD, MA, a health economist at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, told Healio. “This program was designed to reach this group where they were — for example, colleges, job training sites, barber shops, car washes, etc. — to provide convenient access to screening. For men who tested positive, they were mailed treatment, and treatment was provided for their partners.”

Charles Stoecker

The program, called Check It, was implemented in 2017 as a “seek, test and treat chlamydia prevention program for young Black men,” according to the researchers. To assess its impact, they used a probabilistic cost-effectiveness model on a “synthetic cohort” of 16,181 men and 13,419 women. The cohort was meant to simulate the size of the Black, sexually active population aged 15 to 24 years in New Orleans. The researchers’ model factored in previously published estimates of the incidence of chlamydia, the costs of treatment, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).

Their base case — or reference case — estimates of the Check It program showed that it cost $196,838 (95% CI, $117,320-$287,555) to implement. For this price, the program saved 10.2 QALYs (95% CI, 7.7-12.7 QALYs), and saved $140,950 (95% CI, $197,018 to $105,620) in medical costs per year. The model also showed that the program cost $5,468 (95% CI, $16,717) per QALY gained. Researchers added that all iterations of the probabilistic model returned cost-effectiveness ratios less than $50,000 per QALY gained.

Stoecker said the key takeaway from the study is that the Check It program “is a cost-effective way to reach this population that has been targeted by fewer screening programs than other populations.”

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