The new lab will help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections in the United States.
Preventx, a remote sexual health testing provider designed for public health, has announced the opening of a specialized lab in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The new lab will support public health departments in the United States in controlling the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in US communities. This announcement occurred at the STI and HIV 2023 World Congress.
Preventx has over 15 years of experience and real-world results, allowing reliability and expertise during in-person care alongside accessibility provided from digital services. The rate of STIs in the United States has significantly risen over time. Along with public health budgetary constraints, this has led to the significant risk of a public health crisis.
"Against a backdrop of decreased funding for STI prevention and the complexities of the US healthcare system, US public health officials are tasked with safeguarding the well-being of their communities, preventing and mitigating the spread of infections including STIs, ensuring equitable access to care, and all while containing costs," said Stephen Jordan, MD, PhD, US medical director at Preventx.
Surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated over 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in the United States in 2021, with all 3 conditions seeing increased rates from 2020 to 2021. This led the CDC to urge groups to contribute to STI prevention efforts, including testing.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative with the goal of reducing HIV infections by 90% in the United States by 2030. Barbara Van Der Pol, PhD, MPH, Preventx Laboratory director, has noted the responsibility among health care professionals to stop the spread of STIs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic led to disruptions in STI-related prevention and care activities and brought the realities of our strained public health infrastructure to light,” said Van Der Pol. “We also learned that remote testing is a viable strategy that gives people, no matter where they live, greater access to prevention methods and overall health care."
In-person clinic visits are currently the main approach to testing, preventing at-risk and underserved populations from receiving the care they need. These groups will be reached by Preventx’s digital platform and remote testing approach. Health care providers will also have greater capacity, allowing them to reach more individuals with complex needs.
Preventx has proven effective at providing care, with an average return rate of 80% for remote test kits. It has sent over 5.5 million STI testing kits and performed over 15 million tests through its in-house lab.
"Just as we have seen in the UK and Europe, the United States is experiencing a huge surge in STIs in the post-COVID era and Preventx is excited to be entering this space to help US Public Health departments fight this crisis,” said John White, medical director at Preventx.
“One of the pillars of combatting STIs is to increase STI testing,” White added. “Our extensive experience and track record in the United Kingdom show that remote STI testing is an effective and efficient way to help reach as many people as possible, particularly those who can't or won't access clinic-based services. We are confident that this innovative approach will help the United States fight back against the ongoing spread of STIs and reduce preventable harms for those affected."
Preventxlaunches in the US as rising STI cases push the country towards public health crisis. Preventx. July 24, 2023. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/preventx-launches-in-the-us-as-rising-sti-cases-push-the-country-towards-public-health-crisis-301883130.html