Objective: Appropriate laboratory testing practices are a critical part of sexually transmitted disease (STD) control.
Goal: The goal of this study was to describe the type and volume of STD tests performed in public health laboratories in the United States in 2004.
Study Design: A web-based survey was made available to 144 members of the Association of Public Health Laboratories.
Results: One hundred fourteen laboratories responded (79%). Overall, 3,553,196 chlamydia tests and 3,461,151 gonorrhea tests were performed; 64.4% of chlamydia tests and 60.8% of gonorrhea tests were nucleic acid amplification tests. Ninety-four percent of laboratories performed syphilis testing. Few laboratories used type-specific tests for herpes simplex virus or used new tests for trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, or human papillomavirus.
Conclusions: This survey collected important data that can be used to monitor trends in STD testing practices in public health laboratories.