Readily available option could help lower infection rates, expert says
TUESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Do-it-yourself tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) apparently would be a hit among women.
When given the option of taking an at-home test for chlamydia and gonorrhea, two of the most common STDs, 76 percent of 462 women in a recent study indicated that would be their preference, compared with 16 percent who said they would rather go to a clinic for testing and 8 percent who said they'd prefer to be tested by their own doctor.
At-home test kits for sexually transmitted diseases are not currently available to U.S. consumers.
Beyond women saying they would prefer to test themselves for STDs, the study also found that a greater percentage of these women actually followed through and got tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea -- 65 percent compared with 32 percent of those who said they would choose doctors or clinics for testing.
"The results are important because they show you can increase screening for these infections, which are very common and cause serious health problems such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis.
Women who self-tested used vaginal swabs to obtain a smear that was then mailed to a lab. The women reported that the test was easy to perform, and the results were comparable to results of regular screenings, the researchers reported.
Among the 228 women who were tested, six cases of chlamydia and one case of gonorrhea were found, according to the study, with four of the chlamydia cases and the lone gonorrhea case detected in the home-screening group. Study participants and their partners who tested positive were given free antibiotic treatment.
The study, reported in the April issue of '/>"/>
All rights reserved