This study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, evaluates the effect of point-of-care (POC) testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on reported awareness of test results and STI risk-reduction behaviors in adolescents.
Point of care (POC) testing is defined as medical testing at the site where patients visited their clinician and had a pelvic exam. In the usual STI testing scenario, the patient is tested for STI and given presumptive treatment which might be inappropriate and some patients may remain unaware of their actual STI status. Patients in this study were given POC results within 20 minutes and no one left without receiving her results. Subjects were also recruited for a follow-up phone call and had to answer questions about sexual activity, condome use, treatment and partner notification.
This research study found that young women with positive POC results were more likely to report their awareness of their STI diagnosis and this awareness also increased risk-reduction behaviors such as abstinence, partner discussion and partner testing.