Despite efforts to increase awareness on STIs and the importance of STD testing, the number of people contracting STIs is still on the rise. It is against this background that a clinic in London has come up with an alternative method for STI testing in this digital age that shortens the time that an individual is required to wait for results. The alternative method is called Dean Street Express.
How does Dean Street Express Work?
The system is a walk in facility in which individuals conduct STD testing themselves in a stigma-free environment all thanks to a smaller version of the molecular testing technology.
The individual interested in an STD test starts the process by checking in online. The second step is to go to the Dean Street Clinic and check in on a computer. A tube with the necessary swabs for the test which were chosen from a menu is then given to the individual by a technician.
The menu includes syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea among others. The last step is for the individual to enter into a private room and provide the samples for the test of which videos are shown on what he/she should do. From that point, all the individual needs to do is wait for just 6 hours upon which they will receive their results via text message on their phone.
A U.S based diagnostics company called Cepheid is responsible for the development of the technology used at Deans Street Clinic. The company is also responsible for the portable tuberculosis test developed in 2011 that was able to get results for the disease in just 15 minutes. The company became popular for the kit and managed to sell almost 12,000 testing systems in different countries.
Dean Street model has been so popular and successful in London that the founders of the company recently introduced HIV testing consequently opening a second clinic. The company also has plans to set up walk-in clinics in Barcelona, Australia, Paris, San Francisco and Brisbane.
Impact of the New Testing System
Benefits from the new system include:
- Less anxiety in patients as they wait for results.
- Less time spent while waiting for results.
- Makes it possible for those who are positively diagnosed with an STI to get treatment almost immediately.
- Reduces transmission from one person to the other.
- Makes testing for STDs a better experience.
- Reduces the chances of embarrassing human interactions while going through the test.
Cases of STDs are on the rise across the globe especially among certain groups like youths, men who have sex with men and individuals who have sex with multiple sex workers. Deans Street Clinic makes the whole testing process easy and convenient.
The groups mentioned above should then be encouraged to test for the infections as earlier detection leads to therapy given on time avoiding serious health complications that may arise from untreated STDs. The clinic should be implemented in other countries of the world especially those which the risk is higher.
The system is a step in the right direction to the fight against STDs as getting people to test for the infections makes them more responsible for their health.