Author Interviews, JAMA, STD / 19.05.2020 Interview with: Barbara Van Der Pol, PhD, MPH President, American STD Association President-Elect, International Society fo STD Research Professor of Medicine & Public Health Director, STD Diagnostics Lab Director, UAB STD Clinical Research Organization University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL  35294 What is the background for this study? Response: For many decades, public health programs focused on control and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI) have relied on lab based tests that required a 1-day to 1-week wait for test results.  Efforts to shorten the duration of infection lead to treating at the time of the clinic visit based on the association between certain clinical signs or symptoms and the likelihood of infection. Unfortunately, more than ½ of infected persons do not have signs or symptoms so they receive no treatment until test results are available. Thus, a test that could be performed at the clinical site with a limited wait time would improve the accuracy of treatment and shorten the duration of infection. Such a strategy will hopefully reduce the number of return clinic visits, the possibility of transmission, and the potential for consequences of untreated infection such as infertility.  (more…)
Author Interviews, PLoS, Sexual Health / 18.01.2015 Interview with: Matthew Golden MD, MPH Director, PHSKC HIV/STD Program Professor of Medicine, University of Washington Harborview Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Golden: Gonorrhea and chlamydial infection are the most common reportable infections in the United States and, in women, are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and chronic pelvic pain. One way to decrease the number of cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia is to increase our success in treating the sex partners of persons diagnosed with these infections. Expedited partner therapy (EPT) - treating partners without requiring them to first undergo a medical evaluation - is one way to increase partner treatment. This usually involves giving people medication to give to their partners. Prior randomized trials have found that EPT decreases patients' risk of becoming reinfected. We conducted a community-level randomized trial to evaluate whether making free Expedited partner therapy available to medical providers would increase the use of Expedited Partner Therapy and decrease gonorrhea and chlamydial infections at the population level. We found that a public health program that made Expedited partner therapy widely available could dramatically increase medical providers use of EPT. Although our final result was not statistically significant, our findings suggest that the program likely decreased both gonorrhea and chlamydial infection by about 10% at the population-level. (more…)