Background: To address continuing high chlamydia and gonorrhea morbidity among young women in Los Angeles County (LAC), especially African American and Latina women, the LAC STD Program launched the “I Know” home test kit program in June 2009. The program enables females age 12-25 residing in LAC to order a home collection kit for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and to retrieve results either online or by phone. Kits and specimens were sent through U.S. mail. Self-collected vaginal swab specimens are tested using Gen-Probe APTIMA Combo 2.
Objectives: Assess utilization and test results of the “I Know” home test kit program after the second year of operation, and assess the impact of various marketing strategies.
Methods: Assess utilization and test results of the “I Know” home test kit program after the second year of operation, and assess the impact of various marketing strategies.
Results: In its first two years, there were 3,751 orders of “I Know” home test kits. From these kits, 2,136 specimens (57%) were returned to PHL, of which 2,032 (95%) were testable. Of testable specimens, 181 (8.9%) were positive for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea. Most orders were made online. Bus interior and online ads were the largest measurable impetus for kit orders. Kit orders dropped substantially after advertising ceased after 2009. However, the program continued to receive new clients and actually increased case-finding rate with minimal publicity. Specific no-cost publicity efforts (e.g., a single magazine article) were able to generate multiple orders.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and Research: An online home test kit for chlamydia and gonorrhea can complement clinic-based screening to reach high-morbidity populations.