Background: HSV2 serology provides a means for asymptomatic individuals to know their HSV2 status and choose behaviors to avoid acquisition of this infection (if seronegative) or transmission to sexual partners (if seropositive). Marion County Health Department (MCHD), began point of care HSV2 serologic testing at Bell Flower Clinic (BFC) June 1, 2008, thereby expanding available STD services to clientele.
Objectives: To describe the impact of HSV2 serology on clinic flow.
Methods: The areas of impact assessed were: logistics of registration, added testing for lab techs, time needed to obtain test results and added clinician time required for providing results and counseling. Counseling was noted to be the area with the greatest variablity on clinic flow as time needed per client varies widely.
Results: BFC saw 16,666 clients between June 2008 and August 31, 2009. During this time, BFC tested 1,681 individuals and diagnosed 417 (24.8%) cases of HSV2 serology. Forms were developed to incorporate the addition of HSV2 into the registration and payment process. Testing was integrated with point of care HIV and syphilis serology to minimize wait time. Clinician in-service sessions were provided to enhance provider comfort with counseling messages regarding dissemination of results.
Conclusions: Despite the additional time constraints required to incorporate HSV2 serology, the clinic is providing services to as many, or more, clients as during the period prior to implementation of HSV2 serology.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Given the relationship between HSV2 and HIV susceptibility, it is imperative that people know their HSV2 status as a primary prevention method for protection of their sexual partners. Serologic testing can, and should, be incorporated into public health STD clinic services.