With the Republican onslaught against women’s health that has been going on lately, sometimes it can be disheartening to read about the state of women’s health in the news. Recently some good news came out about the “I know” STD testing campaign, officials in Los Angeles County have released new STD test kiosks.
Launched in 2009, the “I Know” program allowed county women to order free Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing kits that would be discreetly mailed to them. They would take the test at home, send it back to a lab for free processing and access her results either online or over the phone. Pretty cool right?
These kiosks aim to make it even easier by putting it right there, as you travel around L.A. County running errands etc. The kiosks give you a mailing label and a form which can be brought to a pharmacy or pick-up location to obtain the test in real time as opposed to having to wait. There will also be tablets at various locations which can be used to order the kit by women who may not have access to internet at home.
The “I Know” campaign not only provides testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, it seeks to educate young women in L.A. County about what they are and how to protect themselves from it. The “I Know” website features a section with information about symptoms of these STD’s and encourages women to use condoms to protect themselves.
The tests are free for L.A. County residents who are women between the ages of 12 and 25. This is because this group is the group with the highest rate of infection. It is also in part because these diseases are frequently symptom-less in women and women are far more likely to be infected when having sex with an infected partner than a man having sex with an infected partner.
Way to go, L.A. County! Finally people are starting to recognize how important awareness is when it comes to women’s health. If this became a national program I can only imagine how quickly infection rates would drop, more people would be getting tested, treated, and would be less likely to pass on STD’s they didn’t realize they had.