Health Officials in Kane County, Ill., are reporting an increased demand for sexually transmitted infection tests, and the county likely will have to allocate an additional $55,000 to meet the demand, the Chicago Daily Herald reports.
Paul Kuehnert, Kane County Health Department executive director, said that the increase in testing is positive because it helps to address the impact of STIs such as HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. He added that the increased demand and related costs likely will make the county evaluate how it performs STI testing. "Not everybody really needs to be screened medically," Kuehnert said.
The Kane County Board's Public Health Committee was scheduled to vote on increased funding for the Greater Elgin Family Care Center and the Open Door Clinic in Elgin and Aurora to meet the increased demand for STI testing. However, not enough board members attended the vote to legally hold the meeting, and the board is scheduled to consider the issue again on Friday.
Although the number of clients seeking STI tests at the Elgin Family Care Center is almost the same as last year, the Open Door clinics have reported an almost threefold increase in testing demand. According to Kuehnert, the increase might not indicate a dramatic increase in the number of STI cases. However, he added that figures from January and February for certain STIs have increased slightly compared with the same time period last year. Health officials recorded 279 chlamydia cases in January and February, about 60 more than the same time period in 2008. Fifty gonorrhea cases have been reported, an increase of nine compared with last year. STI cases overall have remained flat compared with 2008 figures, according to the Herald (Fuller, Chicago Daily Herald, 3/25).
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.