Rutgers University is leading a three-year study looking at how to better STD screening and treatment in people who have or are at risk for an HIV infection. And, the Orange County Florida Department of Health as well as the Bay and Alachua County Health Departments are participating in the study.
STD Program Manager Willie Brown said the Orange County-DOH is excited to have been chosen by Rutgers as a study participant, and the information attained from it will help the county health department to improve education strategies, prevention methods and encourages clients to be proactive in their own health care.
The involved health departments will look into how effective peer-led HIV testing interventions are and the retention of cases. It will also look at how useful the Computer Assisted Self-Interview is in determining STD risk assessment.
All patient information remains confidential.
According to health department officials, the study is necessary especially now. The numbers of Orange County STD and HIV cases has risen. In 2016, there were 458 cases of HIV, but in 2017, that number increased to 512.
There was also an increase in STD infection rates. Chlamydia saw a 14 percent increase – just over 9,500 cases. Gonorrhea cases increased 25 percent to a little more than 3,100.
The Health Resources and Services Administration funded the grant for the study. The Orange County health department will get $250,000 a year to carry out the trial.