At Home Screening for STDs

Theme(s):
Infectious Disease Prevention, Sexual & Reproductive Health

Rural and isolated tribal communities have limited options for sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment. In some communities with small populations, concerns about confidentiality prevent people from getting tested at all, resulting in high rates of sexually transmitted infections.

About Self-Administered Testing

Self-administered testing kits make it possible to test for common sexually transmitted infections (Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Trichomonas) in the comfort and privacy of one’s home without having to visit a clinic. Self-administered screening kits can be used to collect urine samples and sent to a lab for processing. Community health workers can provide results confidentially and connect people who test positive to treatment. We piloted this method of sexually transmitted infection testing with 32 adolescents ages 18-19 from a tribe in the American Southwest.

Results 

Of those screened, 44% tested positive for at least one infection. Of those who tested positive, 64% had never been screened before. Results of this pilot suggest high overall acceptability of a self-administered testing method:

  1. 88% said procedures were easy to follow
  2. 100% were comfortable with how results were received
  3. 69% preferred the self-administered method over a clinic
  4. 75% would encourage friends to use this method
  5. 100% would use a self-administered method again

Funders and replication partners

This project has been supported by the Native American Research Center for Health of the National Institutes of Health.