Don't Think Know

Sacramento County Launches Free Home STD Test for Women / Innovative Mail‐In Test Kit Targets High Rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in Young Women

Department of Health and Human Services
Sherri Z. Heller
Director

8/26/2013 10:00 PM

Media Contact:

Laura McCasland    mccaslandla@saccounty.net    (916) 875-2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SACRAMENTO, California (August 26, 2013) – Sacramento County Public Health announces the launch of a new program to detect chlamydia and gonorrhea among young women through a free STD home test kit. Funded in part by the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch, I Know Sacramento is modeled after Los Angeles County’s I Know home testing project, which has tested thousands of women since it began in 2009. Alameda and San Diego Counties are also celebrating the launch of their I Know campaigns, expanding access to this free, accurate, and confidential testing service.  I Know features a website where young women can order test kits, find out their results, learn more about STDs, and get referrals for treatment.

“Getting these test kits into the hands of young women has helped us find new cases of STDs that would otherwise have gone undetected. Women have told us that they like having an easy, convenient way to take charge of their health,” said Heidi Bauer, Chief of the California Department of Public Health STD Control Branch. “We want people working in these communities to help spread the word about this exciting new strategy.”

The I Know Sacramento home test kit is specifically designed for women 25 years of age and younger. Young women can order a test kit online or by phone and receive it by mail within a few days, and take the test privately. Women who are unable to receive the kits by mail can pick one up at the project office. Participants will mail their test sample to a designated public health laboratory for processing and results will be available online or by phone one week later. A text message and/or e‐mail will also be sent reminding recipients that results are available online. Participants will use a unique username and password to confidentially access their results.

“We have an epidemic of chlamydia and gonorrhea among teens and young adults in Sacramento County, especially among young women,” said Sacramento County STD Control Officer Dr. Miriam Shipp. “I Know Sacramento is a great program that connects young women to discreet testing for diseases and gives them the information they need to obtain treatment if necessary. It also gives them the opportunity to learn more about protecting themselves from STDs, whether they test positive or not. It has been very successful in other areas of California, and we are looking forward to using it here in
Sacramento.”

Sacramento County consistently ranks as one of the counties with the highest chlamydia and gonorrhea rates in California. In 2011, Sacramento County had 9,080 reported cases of chlamydia – the highest ever for the county – and 1,813 reported cases of gonorrhea. Sacramento County also had the highest rate of chlamydia in California for females aged 15 to 24 (4,468 per 100,000). Chlamydia and gonorrhea often have no signs or symptoms and when left untreated, can have long‐term consequences, including pelvic inflammatory disease, reproductive organ damage, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and increased susceptibility to HIV infection if exposed.

The I Know Sacramento home test kit can be ordered through the program’s website at www.dontthinkknow.org or by phone at (916) 875‐KNOW (5669). Health educators are also available to provide information about STD risk factors, symptoms, and where to find treatment in Sacramento County.

Sacramento County Public Health operates and manages numerous programs designed to protect the health and well‐being of all Sacramento County residents. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit www.scph.com.
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