Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership Summit on Chlamydia

Strategic Interest and Action Arenas*

*Strategic Interest and Action Arenas – Areas that will be addressed by the Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership (MCP) as it pulls together ideas for a statewide action plan to reduce the rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in Minnesota. These 10 areas of interest and potential action will be discussed at the Summit on Chlamydia.

Title Description

1. More people need to get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea

"More people tested"

15-25 year olds account for the majority of all chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. Most don’t know they even have an infection because there are usually few, if any, symptoms. Unless health care providers regularly check for these infections we will never stop transmission or ongoing infections and the serious health conditions that can occur when these STDs are left undetected and untreated.
In addition, repeat infections in people who have already had one infection is high. Health care providers need to understand the importance of retesting people 3-4 months after they finish treatment. People who were infected also need to remember to go back for retesting 3-4 months later.
Many individuals cannot afford testing or being treated for an STD. Testing needs to be more accessible and affordable for patients. In addition, clinics need to be able to pay reasonable rates for testing and the cost of medications.

2. Youth ages 15-25 in MN know about chlamydia

 “Youth know about CT/GC”
Many youth are unaware of STD risks and lack of information contributes to high numbers of people infected. Youth need to know what chlamydia is, what the symptoms are, where to go if you want to get checked for it, and how to keep from getting it and from giving it to others. Young adults, especially those ages 15-25, face the highest risk of STD infection and may experience many barriers to prevention and treatment.

3. Doctors and clinics better understand chlamydia and gonorrhea and make sure they test for it and treat it when they find it.

 “Doctors understand CT/GC”
More doctors and medical professionals need to be better informed about the high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in MN and the need to screen more youth ages 15-25. They also need to retest people who are positive 3-4 months later. Providers should also be educating patients and their partners about prevention and treatment.

4. All people in MN get educated about chlamydia and gonorrhea, especially how youth in MN are being affected

 “Minnesotans know about CT/GC”

Many Minnesotans are unaware of the impact STDs are having on young people. When more parents, teachers, religious leaders, groups that serve youth, and others are aware of the importance of chlamydia and gonorrhea, they will begin to see the need for community strategies to address the problem and will get involved in creating solutions.

5.  Confidential testing and treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea for teens

 “Confidentiality”
For teens, knowing that testing for sexual transmitted infections will be confidential is critical to their willingness to seek health care. Fear that their health concerns will not remain confidential is a barrier to receiving needed care. Ensuring and providing trusted, confidential testing and follow up care in pediatric offices, family practice clinics, family planning clinics, and teen-serving health care clinics must be considered. Insurance regulations, how medical services are provided, and parent notification laws are examples of rules that must be considered when looking at ways to provide access to affordable and confidential screening and treatment of all STIs.

6.  More people with chlamydia and gonorrhea must get treated

 “More infected people treated”

Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to severe complications. Many people cannot afford to be tested and treated for STDs.  Affordable testing and treatment are needed. Also, some individuals don’t get their test results quickly or don’t return to the clinic after they have been tested. The time between testing and treatment needs to be decreased to ensure that people get their results and are treated in a timely manner.

Repeat infections in people who test positive once are high. To reduce further transmission and repeat infections, treatment for sexual partners must be available.

7.  Improve efforts to keep people from getting chlamydia and gonorrhea

 “Information and Prevention”

The current situation is that more is needed to help adolescents and young adults reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting CT and GC infections. Adolescents and young adults need more access to information about CT and GC so they can choose behaviors that will reduce their risk of becoming infected or transmitting infection to sex partners. Comprehensive sexuality education for teens is limited or lacking in schools and after-school programs. Parents and others who provide care for adolescents also need information about CT and GC and about the resources available to adolescents for screening and counseling. More culturally specific prevention and medical services are needed, particularly in greater Minnesota, for adolescents and young adults. Media messages need to be broader, more inclusive, and be provided using forums that youth can relate to.

There are many social/cultural factors that contribute to why people seek testing or don’t. We will talk about some of those such as income, race, gender, age, the shame of having an STD, and other “social determinants” and influences.

8.  STD testing should be accessible, affordable and acceptable. (The Three A’s)

 “Easy, affordable testing”

Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing and treatment are not routinely accessible, affordable or acceptable. Access includes: knowing about the importance of being tested, knowing where to get tested; a convenient testing location, and transportation to get there. Affordable includes: free, inexpensive or easily covered by insurance. Acceptable includes: clinical services that provide culturally acceptable testing, in a language that patients understand, and services that feel warm, supportive and useful. It also includes reducing the social stigma associated with seeking testing or getting an STD diagnosis.

Without services that meet the three A’s, providers are unlikely to connect with those that need services and people that need services are less likely to seek out providers.

9.  Don't Chlam Up in School!

 “Don’t Chlam Up in School!”
Currently HIV and AIDS education is mandated in MN public schools, but education about other STDs is not required. Individual districts and schools make independent decisions about what to teach, resulting in inconsistent education across the state. Colleges also vary in their approach to providing sexual health information. Let’s talk about ways to ensure that students attending public schools and colleges receive education about how to be a responsible sexual person for all of their lives.
  1. More sexual partners of those diagnosed with chlamydia need STD testing and treatment

 “Partners Get Treated, too”

Currently, about 1 in 7 women treated for chlamydia will have the infection again 6 months later because their sexual partner was not treated.  It’s important to test and treat these partners to prevent reinfection and lessen the impact of chlamydia on the community.

Wider use of tools such as Expedited Partner Treatment and field-delivered therapy, now available in MN, as well as expanding services that notify partners of their exposure are needed so that treatment for sexual partners is available. In addition, treatment medications need to be free or inexpensive so that partners with limited or no funds can still receive treatment.


If you were unable to attend the Summit on August 3, 2010
you can still be involved in participating/or contributing to the activities of the Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership. Please select your level of commitment and involvement from the following options: (Check all that apply)

Member of a Strategy Workgroup – You are available to attend at least 4 meetings between September 1 and December 3, 2010. You are willing to help gather information on the topic(s) that the workgroup is exploring and sometimes contribute information in writing. You are willing to suggest ideas that might be included in a statewide plan.

Be a Resource Person for a Strategy Workgroup – You are available to attend some meetings in person, or by phone (please specify on sign-up sheets in your brainstorming group); You are also available to consult and provide feedback on specific topics.

Provide Resources - You have resources, people and/or information that you are able to make available to workgroups or for future activities.

Stay Informed - You want to be kept on the mailing list for updates.
   
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If you have technical difficulties with this form, contact Kathy Melaas via e-mail or at (651) 201-4034.

 

Last Modified: 30-Jun-2014 09:56:02 am