Free at-home tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea are available from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as part of a campaign targeting young women at risk, officials announced today.
The "Don't Think, Know" kits can be ordered online and done at home. The kits are mailed to a lab, and results are available via the Web and telephone a week later. A text message also will be sent to remind patients that test results are ready.
"The availability of a home test kit, combined with the ease of ordering the kit and getting results online of by phone, represents an unprecedented opportunity to significantly reduce the numbers of young women affected by chlamydia and gonorrhea," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the director of Public Health. "There is no longer any reason for any young women in Los Angeles County to become infertile, suffer chronic pain or deal with a life-threatening tubal pregnancy because of these two STDs."
In Los Angeles County, 63 percent of patients infected with chlamydia are women between the ages of 15 and 24, according to health officials. In 2008, there were a total of 43,431 reported cases in the county. Chlamydia often has no signs or symptoms and, if left untreated, can lead to infertility.
Gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and damage reproductive organs, leading to ectopic pregnancies or infertility. There were 8,415 reported cases in Los Angeles County last year.
To order a free kit, log onto www.dontthinkknow.org or call (800) 758-0880.