Improving STD service delivery: Would American patients and providers use self-tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia?

Prev Med. 2018 Oct;115:26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.08.007. Epub 2018 Aug 7.


Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhea (GC) are the most frequently reported notifiable diseases in the United States and costs for diagnosis and treatment of these two infections are approximately $700 million per year. A proposed new method for screening for these two infections is self-tests; similar to at-home pregnancy and HIV tests which do not include sending collected specimens to a laboratory for diagnosis. However, no such self-tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To determine the acceptability of such a test, we used three surveys, conducted in 2017, including the American Men's Internet Survey, the SummerStyles survey, and the DocStyles survey to ask potential users about their interest in this type of test and how they might use it. Among our sampled population of men who have sex with men, 79.5% said they would prefer to take this type of test at home and 73.9% said they would be willing to pay at least $20 for the test. Among young adults (18-29 years), 54.1% indicated that they would like to take this test at home and 64.5% were willing to pay more than $10 for such a test. Among sampled physicians, 85.1% were "likely" or "very likely" to use an FDA-approved STD self-test in their office to screen for CT or GC. Self-tests for STDs are on our horizon and we need to be prepared to integrate these tests into our healthcare systems.

Keywords: Chlamydia; Gonorrhea; Self-test; Service delivery; Sexually transmitted disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Prevalence
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult