Community at-home STI testing advances health equity, reduces stigma - Primary Health

Community at-home STI testing advances health equity, reduces stigma

  • July 24, 2023

  • Primary.Health Editorial Team

  • 2 minutes

Primary.Health technology puts STI self-testing in communities’ hands and streamlines program management.

To help curb the alarming rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) across the United States, Primary.Health has partnered with public health organizations to provide easy, discreet at-home STI testing.

The collaboration goes beyond STI testing to educate communities about STI risks and the need for regular testing (and follow-up care when needed). Besides the public health benefit, the program helps to raise awareness, reduce the stigma associated with STIs, and break down barriers to testing by helping people feel safe and comfortable with self-testing. 

Currently, Primary.Health offers at-home STI self-testing for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis C, and HIV. While anyone who is sexually active can get an STI, self-testing targets groups more affected by STIs: young people aged 14-24, gay and bisexual men, pregnant people, and racial and ethnic minority groups. Testing programs for the unhoused, veterans, immigrants, and refugees are in the works.

How at-home STI testing works

The Primary.Health software platform powers testing and streamlines program management for the community partner. The platform generates customized reports and automates tasks like state reporting. Also, the platform portal makes it easy and confidential for participants to register, self-test, and retrieve test results. 

Before program launch, Primary.Health and the community partner determine the best method of test kit distribution. Options include in-person pickup, U.S. mail, pop-up event, vending machine, or a hybrid. For example, in one county, participants can register for a test at their local public health website or in person. They can pick up a test kit on the spot or have a kit mailed to their home.

After activating their tests, participants collect their specimens and then mail their kits to Primary.Health’s lab partner for processing using enclosed self-mailers. Participants are notified via the portal when their test results are available.

Primary.Health offers community partners a number of post-testing clinical options, including follow-up telehealth consults, referrals, and in some cases prescriptions for participants who receive a positive test result.

Throughout the at-home STI testing process, Primary.Health supports participants and community partners with video training, education, and promotional materials. 

Access Primary.Health testing beyond the clinic

At-home testing for STIs is just one aspect of Primary.Health’s broad community health outreach. Our technology also powers easy, affordable diagnostic testing for a range of conditions as well as vaccinations and test-to-treat programs at scale. Learn how to reduce health disparities in your community.

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