July 3, 2017 – Taking Charge


Anchor lead: Online testing proves consumers can help manage their own healthcare, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Men and women who are concerned they may have a common sexually transmitted infection can elect testing via online and mail services in some parts of the US, but how well do these work? Charlotte Gaydos, an expert in STI testing at Johns Hopkins, says her research demonstrates they work very well indeed.

Gaydos: When they order the kit they have to pick a clinic where they would go if it were positive. Then they get the result, we send the lab report to that clinic they picked, so we have to know where they’re intending to go, and once they go to the clinic the clinic will then have the faxed copy of the result and they will get treated. So people are empowered enough to look after their own health. They actually do enjoy having control.   :27]

Gaydos says the concern that people won’t be treated and may therefore continue to infect other partners has not been born out, with very few of those who’ve tested positive failing to be treated in her follow-up studies. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.