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Missouri: County Might Institute Fees for STD Testing

September 1, 2009

Public health officials in Boone County, Missouri -- home of the flagship campus of the University of Missouri -- want to begin charging for STD testing, but at the same time worry that fees will deter some people from getting tested.

Stephanie Browning, director of the Columbia-Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, proposed instituting a $10 per-test fee for county residents, a move that would raise $30,000 annually if the current utilization of 3,000 tests per year remained constant. Out-of-county residents would continue to be assessed $20 per test.

Boone County ranked fourth in Missouri in the incidence of certain STDs, a situation Browning attributed to the health department being "very aggressive about offering opportunities to get diagnosed and treated." She expressed concern that assessments above $10 might deter people from testing.

Reported cases of STDs in the county likely represent a fraction of actual cases, said health department epidemiologist Sarah Rainey. She noted the figures do not include partners who have been treated without the benefit of a confirmed test.

The city-county health department offers testing by appointment as well as through a walk-in clinic each Tuesday. Through July, the county in 2009 confirmed 514 cases of chlamydia, 106 cases of gonorrhea, and eight cases of syphilis.

Back to other news for September 2009

Adapted from:
Columbia Daily Tribune
08.27.2009; Jodie Jackson Jr.

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.
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