Home Testing Kits Provide Privacy for Rural Alaska

A new way to test for STD's is introduced to Alaska

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by Megan Mazurek

      A new way to test for sexually transmitted diseases is being introduced in Alaska.

    The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and John Hopkins University have released the first ever at home STD test kit.  Each kit is available online, and comes with detailed instructions, a unique i.d. number, and a pre-paid return envelope to return self collected swabs.  Within two weeks of sending the test to the lab people can call a toll free number to collect results or can elect to be contacted with the results by mail, email, or phone. 
     Currently the state ranks the highest in reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea, and rural remote communities find it hard to find discrete.
     "In a small community where everyone knows everybody and the health provider may be your cousin or aunt," said Connie Jessen, professional with the ANTHC program. "We are making this available on line we are removing that barrier." 
     ANTHC and John Hopkins hope to address Alaska's unique challenges with remote locations and the struggles that accompany small communities.
     To order a test kit log on to www.Iwantthekit.org.