Presentation Title

Advantages of Syphilis Testing at Non-Traditional Testing Sites

Abstract

Although syphilis testing can be conducted in a clinical setting, many individuals refuse to test because they do not have proper access to testing and treatment. This presentation will show how two Community Based Organizations offered free syphilis testing to men who have sex with men in Metro Atlanta.

Proposal Summary

Background: Since 2006, Georgia has ranked in the top 10 states for primary and secondary (P&S) Syphilis. According to 2009 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Georgia currently ranks number 2 for P&S syphilis. Since that time it has been determined that men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately infected with syphilis as compared to the general population. Recognizing this problem, the Georgia Syphilis Elimination Effort (SEE) funded community based organizations (CBOs) to provide syphilis testing, treatment, and prevention services. Objective: To discuss the benefits of syphilis testing conducted at non-traditional testing sites. Method: Between August 2006 and December 2010, two agencies located in counties with the highest syphilis morbidity provided syphilis testing and treatment for MSM. Testing was conducted at nontraditional sites. Venues were identified by agencies because they were either frequented by MSM, considered as a “safe space” or were “high risk” venues where MSM socialized. Results: From August 2006 to December 2010, funded agencies tested a total of 8,304 individuals for syphilis. Of these, 332 (4%) tested positive for early syphilis. Testing was conducted at venues that were frequented by MSM such as local parks, sex clubs, bathhouses, house balls, gyms, and weekend clinics. In addition, a total of 5,501 prevention counseling sessions were conducted. All cases of syphilis were referred to the local county health departments for partner services. Conclusion: Syphilis testing at nontraditional sites allows for easier access to sexually transmitted disease testing, treatment, and prevention services for individuals who might not otherwise seek services. Implications for programs, policy, and research: Improved collaboration and service integration between public health departments and CBOs is needed. In an effort to provide comprehensive health care services and continuity of care, agencies should seek to enhance resources that will allow them to provide client partner services.

Relevance And Significance

This poseter presentation focuses on clinical research with access, rention and care for individuals that test in non-traditional testing sites. It also looks at an innovative approach to prevention and intervention for STD testing.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Keywords

Syphilis, HIV, Testing, Treatment, Non-Traditional, MSM

Location

Room 129

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 12th, 2:30 PM Sep 12th, 3:45 PM

Advantages of Syphilis Testing at Non-Traditional Testing Sites

Room 129

Although syphilis testing can be conducted in a clinical setting, many individuals refuse to test because they do not have proper access to testing and treatment. This presentation will show how two Community Based Organizations offered free syphilis testing to men who have sex with men in Metro Atlanta.