DPH Launches Online STD Testing Program
October 8, 2008
San Francisco's Department of Public Health is highlighting its STD testing Web site as part of its efforts to fight resurgent syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM). On Sept. 24, DPH introduced STDTest.org at Gotham Body Piercing and Tattoo, Market and 17th streets, where the department will offer testing outside of shop hours, at 7-9 a.m. and 7-10 p.m.
People can anonymously receive personalized STD advice through the Web site and schedule an appointment for screening at one of six testing sites throughout the city. Screening is free but donations are requested to maintain the program, a joint endeavor of DPH and Internet Sexuality Information Services Inc. DPH will ask patients for a name when specimens are taken to ensure that patients testing STD-positive learn their treatment options.
Most test results can be retrieved online within three to seven days using a unique identifier. By law, HIV test results must be delivered by phone or in person by a trained counselor.
"We need to be where people are at, and a lot of people are socializing and finding sexual partners online," said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, DPH's director of STD prevention and control. "The same way STDs are spread through networks and partnerships, we need networks and partnerships to prevent and treat them."
Syphilis cases rose among local MSM in the first half of this year, and STDs also are disproportionately affecting African-American youths.
Bay Area Reporter
10.02.2008; Liz Highleyman
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.