Background: Washington, DC’s School-based STD Screening Program (SBSP) was piloted in 2007/2008, expanded in 2008/2009, and fully implemented in 2009/2010. The 2013/2014 school year is the fifth consecutive year STD screening has been provided in all public and select charter and alternative high schools.
Methods: HIV testing of high-risk students (those infected with chalmydia, gonorrhea or both) during in-school treatment began during the 2010/2011 school year and was expanded the following year. Offering HIV testing to all participating students during in-school STD screening was piloted during the 2012/2013 school year and is being expanded this year. We analyzed SBSP data from 2010/2011 to 2012/2013 - focusing on HIV testing.
Results: During this time: 15,960 students participated in the SBSP; 10,262 (64%) were tested; 600 (6%) were found to be infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea or both; and 521 (87%) were treated. In 2010/2011, 30 high-risk students were tested for HIV during in-school treatment. No new infections were identified. During the subsequent 2 school years, 100 and 106 high-risk students were tested for HIV during in-school treatment, respectively. One new HIV infection was identified and linked to comprehensive care. During the 2012/2013 school year, HIV testing was offered in one high school to all students participating in the SBSP, 89 students were tested, and no new HIV infections were identified. The SBSP plans to offer HIV testing to all students during in-school STD screening in 9 high schools during the 2013/2014 school year with a goal of testing ~700 students.
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, we are the first and only program to routinely offer HIV testing to students participating in school-based STD screening. Since none of the high schools were amenable to HIV testing when the program began, we have had to leverage the success of STD screening to gradually incorporate HIV testing.