Urine drop-off testing: A self-directed method for STI screening and prevention

O'Byrne, Patrick; Dias, Rick
March 2008
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2008, Vol. 17 Issue 1/2, p53
Academic Journal
Within bathhouses in many urban centres across North America, nurses provide traditional, face-to-face STI testing services for gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis. Because these services require the physical presence of a nurse, they are not accessible for men who visit bathhouses during non-designated testing times. In addition, some men resist traditional STI testing services because they find the procedure to be embarrassing. In response to these problems, we piloted the use of self-directed gonorrhea/chlamydia urine testing kits within two bathhouses in a Canadian urban centre. A drop-box placed in a visible but discrete area of each bathhouse allowed participants to provide samples and contact information. Of those tested in this study, (n = 50), 55.8% reported not having previously accessed services at the host testing-site, and 34.6% reported not being regularly tested for STIs. Among the latter, 16 of 19 had never been previously tested; eight subsequently underwent additional serologically based STI/HIV testing for the first time, with four testing positive for infectious syphilis. None of the drop-off participants tested positive for either gonorrhea or chlamydia. The Discussion considers the potential impact of this unique STI service for a small, but previously untested population.


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