‘Reduces the stigma’: Home-based STI testing kits will be available this fall
Canadians will be able to test for chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis with a single urine sample at home.
Canadians will be able to test for the most common and curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) starting this fall.
Switch Health creates the home kits so people can test for things like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis with a single urine sample.
“Switch Health’s home STI panel collection kit is a critical step in managing a serious public health crisis,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Switch Health’s chief medical officer and former chief administrator. of public health in Canada.
“Using telehealth technology in this way helps reduce the long wait times that our medical system continues to struggle with, but more importantly, it provides access and reduces the stigma that surrounds common STIs, which will cause better patient outcomes. STIs can have painful and irreversible effects if not treated and managed.”
In an email to Glacier Media, Switch Health spokesperson Micah Green said the kit will be available for purchase on the company’s website or at participating retailers.
“We are currently working with public and private insurers to make them as accessible as possible,” he said.
Although STIs are curable and preventable in most cases, they continue to be a public health problem. In fact, STIs have increased.
Over the past decade, gonorrhea rates have nearly tripled with an increase of 182%, according to a 2019 report from the Public Health Agency of Canada. During this time, the overall rate of chlamydia infection increased by 41%.
And while the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that sexually active Canadians get tested regularly, access to testing and the stigma surrounding it limits the regularity of testing.