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Home Screening for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Popular

More women will screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea using self-collected vaginal swabs

THURSDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Home-screening for sexually transmitted infections is far more popular than going to a clinic for screening, according to a study published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Anna S. Graseck and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted a study of 462 women who were given self-collection vaginal swabs to test for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. They were followed up by phone to find out whether they preferred home-based screening at no cost or clinic-based screening without an appointment.

While 75.7 percent of women chose home screening, only 16.1 percent chose the clinic screening offered and 8.2 percent chose to continue clinic-based screening with their regular provider, the survey revealed. Clinic testing was more popular with African-American women, who accounted for 42 percent of the total versus 28 percent of the home group. Screening was completed by 56.6 percent of women. Test completion was more common in the home-testing group compared to all clinic groups (64.6 versus 31.6 percent), the researchers found.

"U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of an over-the-counter chlamydia and gonorrhea testing kit would allow private and convenient self-testing to be available nationwide," the authors write. "We must make screening more available, affordable, and convenient if public health efforts to reduce sexually transmitted infections among women are to be successful."

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