Douglas County Health Department sees success with at-home STI tests

This 1975 file microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and...
This 1975 file microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows chlamydia trachomatis bacteria magnified 200 times.(Dr. E. Arum | AP)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:00 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Douglas County health officials say an at-home STI testing program is seeing success.

The Douglas County Health Department says since starting a free at-home STI testing program last fall, they’ve seen nearly 200 test kits be requested.

A total of 78 tests have been sent, 112 people received relevant education and 40 people were referred to the DCHD’s clinic.

Health officials say the need for STI testing in Douglas County is urgent. Since 2019 there’s been a 39% increase in STI cases, and the county’s rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea are more than 40% higher than national rates.

They say the at-home testing program helps combat those issues by improving access to testing and reducing the spread of STIs.

“Through this program we have been able to provide access to STI testing for individuals who face barriers to in-person testing,” said Alejandra Rebolledo, DCHD’s STI Control supervisor. “Reaching out to more people helps identify those who are infected and speed up treatment while reducing the spread of infection.”

Kits are still available and can be requested online. A walk-in STI clinic is also available.

The kits include supplies for at-home throat, rectum and urine screenings for chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as oral screenings for HIV.