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Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Aug;30(8):654-8.

Community-based screening and treatment for STDs: results from a mobile clinic initiative.

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  • 1Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



The persistence of syphilis and other bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in many areas of the United States suggests that innovative approaches to controlling these diseases are needed.


To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and yield of mobile community-based STD screening and treatment services in high STD incidence areas.


Free, voluntary, confidential screening and treatment for STDs were conducted in high STD incidence neighborhoods of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, using a 32-foot mobile van. Demographic and behavioral data were obtained from participants. Participants were screened for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea and were also offered HIV testing. Community attitudes toward the screening program were assessed with street-intercept surveys conducted two weeks after screening events.


From March 1997 to August 2000, 256 community-based screening events were held. During this period, 3110 blood samples were collected for syphilis testing, of which 37 (1.2%) new cases of syphilis were identified. Of the 2807 blood samples collected for HIV testing, 70 (2.5%) were positive. Of 2229 urine samples, 185 (8.3%) tested positive for Chlamydia trachomatis and 108 (4.9%) positive for Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Of 389 street-intercept surveys, 97% of respondents thought that neighborhood STD testing was a "good" or "very good" idea.


Mobile community-based STD screening and treatment are feasible, identify high positivity of STDs, and are accepted by the community as an innovative approach to STD control.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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