Michigan Resources Target Gonorrhea, Chlamydia Reduction
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control, STD Program has been awarded supplemental funds to implement programs aimed at reducing gonorrhea and chlamydia.
The Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Reduction Plan was funded by the Michigan Legislature. The major components to this plan are: 1) Increased screening of adolescents in alternative venues and males in STD clinics; 2) Use of technology for partner notification; and 3) Engagement of the private medical community to increase screening of females 15 - 24 years of age, conduct re-testing according to CDC recommendations, timely reporting of treatment, and increased partner management.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea infect thousands every year - mainly those from 15 to 24 years of age. If not discovered early, significant public and private health care resources are expended to manage costly complications. With these funds, Michigan is embarking upon several new initiatives to reduce disease burden through early identification, as well as rapid treatment and partner referral.
"These initiatives will have a positive impact on STD prevention by increasing the number of individuals diagnosed and treated, preventing costly complications, and saving substantial public and private healthcare dollars," said Janet Olszewski, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.
As gonorrhea and chlamydia occur throughout the state, resources are being utilized in local health jurisdictions. The MDCH STD Program has increased screening allocations for every local STD program to target males and re-test positive females. Additionally, the program will develop In Spot Michigan, an Internet-based partner referral system that will allow patients to notify partners online, ideal for contacting partners for whom all they know is an e-mail address. Funds also will be used to enhance screening in select high schools, as well as provide grant funding to approximately four agencies with access to high-risk adolescents to conduct screening, treatment, and partner referral.
Finally, as approximately 75% of gonorrhea and chlamydia are reported from the private medical community, these resources will be used to engage private providers to increase screening to patients ages 15 - 24 and assist in partner management by providing information packets designed to educate and refer partners for examination and treatment.