Up to a third of emergency department (ED) patient visits for sexually transmitted disease (STD) care could have occurred at a clinic that was closer to the patient’s home address, available for walk-in appointments, and did not charge for the services. This is according to the article “Presenting to the Emergency Department Versus Clinic-Based Sexually Transmitted Disease Care Locations for Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: A Spatial Exploration,” which was published in Sexually Transmitted Diseases by PhD student Ms. Eleanor Peters Bergquist with Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice faculty Dr. Anne Sebert Kuhlmann and Dr. Travis Loux.
According to the article, STD rates, including chlamydia and gonorrhea are increasing in the US, while public health funding for STD services is decreasing. Individuals seek care from facilities other than clinic-based STD care locations. The objective of the study was to determine whether or not there are more physically proximal clinic-based STD care locations available to individuals who choose to visit the ED instead for STD services.
The article examines STD rates within St. Louis City and County, discusses where STD services are sought, and suggests why patients seek treatment at certain locations.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 19