A comparison of the use of an online sexual health testing service across England
PHE ePoster Library. Holdsworth G. Sep 12, 2017; 186643; 44
Dr. Gillian Holdsworth
Dr. Gillian Holdsworth
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction:Online sexual health testing services can enable access to testing by different population sectors. An innovative online service designed in partnership with terrestrial services is commissioned in 10 areas in the UK, including rural and urban areas. Methods: We wanted to compare uptake and use across commissioned areas. We used routinely collected data to analyse use of the service in different areas by demographics and service uptake. We included cumulative data on use of the service since roll-out in each area.Results:In areas outside London, fewer users had been to a clinic before (66.5%-73.1% vs 81.1%). Positivity rate was also generally higher outside London (6.8%-11.0% vs 6.8%). The majority of users were asymptomatic, which is appropriate for this service. Within the London boroughs, the majority of users (51.8%) were in the 25-34 age bracket while in all other areas, there was a higher proportion of younger users. In all areas, females used the service more than males. Use by ethnicity was related to local area demographics.Conclusion:The online service increased access to STI testing in all areas and consequently reveals higher positivity rates than expected. This could be attributed to unmet need and restricted access to terrestrial services. By sharing real-time data with commissioners, new innovations in the service were developed to meet the needs of specific populations. External funding details The development of SH:24 was funded by Guy's & St Thomas Charity
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