Background: Undiagnosed or asymptomatic individuals with gonorrhea or chlamydia infections need access to STD testing. An established STD clinic is limited in the number of patients that can be seen and treated each year based on resources. Seeking out alternative sites in the community where take-home STD test kits are offered will increase availability of testing to individuals who otherwise could not or would not utilize STD clinic services.
Objectives: To increase the availability of gonorrhea and chlamydia testing via take-home test kits provided at a local pharmacy and evaluate uptake.
Methods: Collaboration between a county STD clinic and a local pharmacy allowed provision of gonorrhea and chlamydia sample collection kits during pharmacy hours, as well as opportunities to provide occasional onsite screening events for syphilis, HIV and HBV/HCV. Test kits included a urine cup and rectal swab for males, and a vaginal swab and rectal swab for females. The kit also contained a registration form and a brief questionnaire regarding the experience. Specimens were returned to the pharmacy, who notified clinic staff to pick up and deliver to the laboratory. Test results were available by phoning the clinic. Individuals with positive test results were contacted via phone or initiated to a Disease Intervention Specialist for field follow-up.
Results: 232 kits have been distributed at the pharmacy. 12 males and 6 females have returned samples and 3 (25%) males and 1 (16.7%) female have had positive results. Kit return rate has been increasing each month.
Conclusions: Community based test kits may improve access to STD screening for asymptomatic individuals who do not want to utilize STD clinic facilities.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Additional types of community partners should be identified to expand the provision of services in ways that increase access and potentially reduce stigma.