The CDC’s current recommendations call for women to be screened for chlamydia, but not men, noting that evidence is lacking on the feasibility and benefit of screening men. Check It, a research project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will examine whether screening men for chlamydia can help curb this epidemic.
A collaboration between the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and YEP Design Works led to the creation of the Check It website, which is specifically designed for young black men to promote sexual health and screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including chlamydia.
Check It partners with local barbershops, colleges and universities and other non-clinical venues to reach 15- to 24-year-old African-American men who have sex with women, are new to testing, and do not have symptoms.
Treatment for men who test positive and their sexual partners is provided by the project.
Dr. Patricia Kissinger, professor of epidemiology, is leading a multi-disciplinary team of investigators in this project, including Dr. Mac Hyman in computational mathematics, Dr. Charles Stoecker in Health Policy and Management, Dr. Alyssa Lederer in global community health and behavioral sciences, and Dr. David Martin from the LSU School of Medicine.
“Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic in men, it is essential that we seek them out for screening and also include youth in the design and implementation of technology for effective messaging,” said Dr. Kissinger.
The website, social media, and community influencers are used to increase sexual health awareness and screening of young black men. To date, the team has enrolled more than 1,000 participants and hopes to develop a roadmap for male screening for chlamydia.