Governmental departments mostly run the sexual health industry and even these are being assisted by non-governmental organization, which are funded by other governments for the well-being for the people within a country. However, of late a new player has started to enter the market – that of the commercial operator.
From the governmental side, a country like the United States of America has the Center for Disease Control. But within each state there is a department that deals with sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases.
An NGO that offer STD screening is Planned Parenthood. This organization has been around for over a 100 years. They have over 600 centers around America, which works as a co-share system with the local government. The CEO of Planned Parenthood is Mar Monte, and the organization is headquartered in San Jose, California.
Planned Parenthood has offices in Alaska, like the Anchorage Health Center of Anchorage, to the First Hill Health Center of Seattle, located in Washington state.
It should also be noted that this organization, Planned Parenthood, is also based outside of America. Planned Parenthood works with more than 100 organizations through a partnership with these organizations in countries in Africa and Latin America.
This organization did connect with a software developer in California to develop a mobile app. This app will allow for the testing of the two most dominate STDs, that of chlamydia and gonorrhea. There is a fee attached to this service, of around $149. This fee includes the test kit, the testing and then once the results are completed, then the user can access the results via the app. This app is idea for people living in remote areas, where access to a STD clinic might be a problem.
America’s neighbor, Canada also have a good network of clinics where people can go for STD screening. For instance in Toronto, there are the Birth Control and Sexual Health Center, Black Creek Community Health Center, Crossways Clinic, The Gate, Hassle Free Clinic, Immigrant Women’s Health Center, The Jane Street Clinic, Rexdale Community Health Center, Scarborough Sexual Health Clinic, Taibu Community Health Center, and the Talk Shop clinics where people can be tested. At these clinic HIV, and STIs can be tested for free, but they do offer other services as well, like birth control counselling.
In the United Kingdom, the NHS manages the health care in that country, under its sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics. There too, there are several STD clinics available for people access and get tested. The clinics include the Community Safer Sex Project – Venture House Youth Center located in Asfordby Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, to Community Safer Sex Project – John Storer House, located in Leicestershire.
For instance the Burrell Street Sexual Health Center is a state-of-the-art reproductive and sexual health clinic that based in the heart of Southwark, London. They do all the STD testing at the clinic.
In terms of the type of tests done, they do testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea with a urine sample or just a self-taken swab for a woman. For HIV testing for HIV and syphilis, a blood sample is taken. These clinics do not test for herpes, unless the people has sores on their anus or genitals. In these cases, swabs are taken from the sores.
In Australia, the different territories offer STD clinics of people to be tested. Here the treatment if offer through a governmental program only accessible through the Medicare card. All Australians need to apply for the card, before any service can be provided. But for sexual health the testing is free and you do not need the Medicare card to be tested. For instance, in Sydney there is the Sydney Sexual Health Center, which is the oldest sexual health service in New South Wales as it has been in operation since 1933. This center offers testing, treatment and management for sexually transmissible infections as well as HIV. More so, this clinic is part of the Directorate of Planning, Population Health and Equity within South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and is funded by the New South Wales Ministry of Health.
However, as mentioned above, there is a trend of new private commercial companies that are offering a discreet service. Examples of these are companies like STD Testing-USA. They are based in Oklahoma City, and provide HIV and STD testing to people living in the area.
Other companies that offer home testing kits are like those of Lets Get Checked, which operators globally, in 16 countries. This company is led by its CEO and founder Peter Foley, with their main offices being in Dublin, New York and Toronto.
Another example of a company that offer STD testing is STD Check in America. This company operates over 4500 clinics across America. A similar style STD testing clinic is that of MateSafe. This company is led by its founder and CEO Dr Jeff Collier. MateSafe has access to around 3500 clinics in the United States, with its head office in Atlanta, Georgia. MateSafe is an online testing clinic, and it is a paid service.
In the United Kingdom is a private STD clinic that is independent of the NHS. This clinic, the Sunshine is operated by Dr Prabhat Sood from the West Midlands Hospital in Halesowen, in the West Midlands.
In the end, there are many places where people can go to be tested for STD and STI, but also have these diseases to be managed and be educated. Most, if not the majority of these STD clinics are run by the departments of government. They do make use of NGO to assist with their out reach. But they too are also making use of technology such as mobile apps to reach a broader markets and those in remote areas in need of the service.
That said, there are a few commercial players in the STD testing sector that are focused on people that would like a more discreet and private approach to their sexual health.