The L.A. County program is being created for women in need who are concerned that they may have contracted chlamydia or gonorrhea. It’s intention is to eliminate long waits at clinics or costs that might prevent women from getting tested. Any female Los Angeles resident aged 12-25 can get a free home test kit by calling the toll free number: 1-800-758-0880 or logging on to the website www.dontthinkknow.org.
The program is a response to the inordinately high rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea in Los Angeles County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks Los Angeles first in chlamydia and second in gonorrhea cases throughout the nation. A few more statistics:
- There are 19 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, at an estimated cost of $15.9 billion annually to the national health-care system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- In 1999, there were 340 million new cases of STDs worldwide–syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis–in men and women ages 15-49, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Financial support for a U.S. government program that funds low-cost, confidential family planing services is 61 percent lower today than it was in 1980, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
So if you are sexually active and suspect that you could have contracted a STD–don’t guess, know! Order your free STD home testing kit today. There are 10,000 kits available immediately, and more should be on hand shortly.
*It’s unclear for me whether men are eligible for these free kits. The dontthinkknow website has a check box for men and transgender people, so it may in fact be available. It’s certainly worth calling the toll free number to find out.