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What Is the Point? How Point-of-Care Sexually Transmitted Infection Tests Can Impact Infected Patients

Huppert, Jill MD, MPH*; Hesse, Elizabeth BS*; Gaydos, Charlotte A. MS, MPH, DrPH

Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology: March 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 1 - p 36-46
doi: 10.1097/POC.0b013e3181d2d8cc
Review Articles

Point-of-care (POC) tests are an important strategy to address the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among both adolescents and young adults. Although access to care and confidentiality are major barriers to STI care, POC tests allow the clinician to provide immediate and confidential test results and treatment. In addition, POC test results constitute a teachable moment; that is, an opportunity to provide immediate feedback to the patient that may impact his/her risk behaviors. This paper reviews published data and manufacturer's product literature describing current POC STI tests, including studies of test performance and impact on treatment intervals and disease spread. It presents theoretical and proposed pitfalls and solutions of implementing POC tests in clinical and nontraditional settings and home care venues. We reviewed the available STI tests according to the World Health Organization criteria for judging POC tests: the affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid and robust, equipment-free, and delivered fscriteria.

From the *Division of Adolescent Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH; and †Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Reprints: Jill Huppert, MD, MPH, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave, ML 4000, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039. E-mail:

This paper was presented in part at the Society of Adolescent Medicine Annual Meeting 2009, Los Angeles, CA.

Funding for this study was from NIBIB, NIH, U-54EB007958.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.