Article: Public health workers taking action on rising US STD rates

NACCHO’s STD Express Initiative was recently featured in The Nation’s Health, a publication of the American Public Health Association. Below is an excerpt.

With insufficient resources and rising needs, the STD prevention field is ripe for innovation. The National Association of County and City Health Officials is leading one such effort. The CDC-funded Express STI Visits Initiative launched in February 2018 to build an evidence base for triage-based STD testing without a full clinical examination.

The exact details of express testing vary across the initiative’s 15 clinic sites — the majority run by health departments — but the general gist is that patients can walk in without an appointment, complete a quick screening tool, and if eligible for express testing, can self-collect their samples and have their blood taken without visiting with a clinician. A 2013 study on express STD testing in Australia found that the practice increased the number of patients seen by 11 percent, reduced costs per patient and reduced wait times.

“The goal is to create a really positive STD testing environment where we want someone to go and think that wasn’t so bad at all, and then bring their partners and friends,” said Samantha Ritter, MPH, who oversees the CDC initiative at NACCHO. “And express testing is really the closest we’ve come to being able to provide that experience.”

Read the full article to learn more.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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