Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc., Launches STI Screening Program for Women with Same-Day Results
The Body Agency Collective, Visby Medical, Inc., and CCHCI Observe National STD Awareness Month with Women’s Health Initiative at the U.S.-Mexico Border
CCHCI among the first healthcare providers in the country to adopt new portable PCR technology to detect gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis in a single visit
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. and BETHESDA, MD. and SAN JOSE, CA., April 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Community Health Centers of Chiricahua, Inc. (CCHCI) today announced a collaboration with The Body Agency Collective (to be confirmed) and Visby Medical, Inc., to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as part of National STD Awareness Week. The project will use a new PCR diagnostic device, the first of its kind, the Sexual Health Click Test, which detects three of the most common and curable STIs in women – gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis – in less than 30 minutes.
STI rates are on the rise in the United States and around the world:
- More than one million STIs are contracted every day worldwide. In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the number of new infections by one of four STIs at 374 million: trichomoniasis (156 million), chlamydia (129 million), gonorrhea (82 million ) and syphilis (7.1 million) (WHO).
- Trichomoniasis is estimated to be the most common non-viral STI worldwide, affecting approximately 3.7 million people in United States (CDC), and although it can affect both women and men, it is much more common in women (CDC).
- In 2019, a total of 1,808,703 cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States, making it the most common reportable condition in the United States. United States for this year (CDC).
- Rates of reported gonorrhea have increased by 92.0% since the historic low in 2009. In 2018-2019, the overall rate of reported gonorrhea increased by 5.7%. Rates increased for both males and females in all regions of the United Statesand among all ethnic groups (CDC).
“In our binational rural community, many of our patients live far from a clinic and face multiple barriers to accessing primary and specialty care,” said Dr. Darlene Melk. “Having PCR in the palm of our hands is a barrier breaker and a game changer. I really cannot overstate the importance of having the ability to test, talk and treat sexually transmitted infections all in one. We know this testing and treatment will have an immediate impact for thousands of women and men across the rural south east Arizona region where we work. We would like to thank The Body Agency and Visby Medical for working with Chiricahua to bring point-of-care testing and treatment directly to the women who need it most.”
STI tests typically take two to five days or more to return results, and often patients cannot be located after the initial appointment to deliver an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment. Clinicians therefore use presumptive treatment or prescribe treatment for a suspected infection without the benefit of diagnostic results, which can lead to incorrect treatment, under-treatment or over-treatment which contributes to social resistance to antibiotics.
“Sexually transmitted infections are three things: often asymptomatic, can be harmful to the female reproductive system, and fortunately most can be treated,” said Dr. Erica MontesOB-GYN at Cornerstone Women’s Care in Phoenix and Medical Advisor and Board Member of The Body Agency. “They disproportionately affect women, especially in high-risk communities, so screening is essential because when we lift women, we lift whole communities. I am very happy to be working with The Body Agency Collective and Visby Medical .”
Early detection and treatment of STIs is essential to avoid serious and potentially permanent complications, especially in women. If left untreated, STIs can lead to an increased risk of contracting HIV, infertility, and life-threatening complications such as ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease. The most vulnerable women, including those living with income, housing or food insecurity, are most likely to be lost to sight and benefit from the new diagnostic tool.
“We are delighted to partner with CCHCI and Visby Medical to rapidly diagnose STIs,” said Kate Robert, founder and CEO of The Body Agency and TBA Collective. “This innovation is needed worldwide because these STIs are often misdiagnosed, and these tests have the added benefit of being fast. We love finding the latest innovation that makes it easier to access affordable and timely healthcare.
Designed for ease of use with minimal setup time, the Visby Medical Sexual Health Click Test offers a fast sample time to result of less than 30 minutes with an accuracy rate of over 97%, equivalent to PCR in the laboratory. trials. This allows healthcare consumers to get tested, speak to a clinician, and receive the appropriate treatment all in one visit, which can help reduce community spread. The instrument-free platform is unique in supporting flexible and scalable operations in any location, including mobile health clinics, and the devices themselves can be used as part of the clinician-conversation patient, as the clinician can physically show the patient the results at the time of diagnosis.
“Rapid and highly accurate diagnosis of STIs is essential to combat rising STI rates in the United States and around the world,” said Dr. Gary SchoolnikChief Medical Officer of Visby Medical and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University specializing in infectious diseases. “We are very pleased to partner with CCHCI and TBAC on this pilot program to serve some of the most vulnerable women in our society who may not have the resources to attend multiple medical appointments over multiple days. Our mission is to help patients and healthcare providers test for any infection anytime, anywhere, and bring that test to patients and clinicians in the United States-Mexico the border is yet another step towards that goal.”
About Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc.
Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. (CCHCI) is a federally licensed health center and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Founded in 1996 as a small rural health clinic operating out of a community center, CCHCI has since grown to become the largest primary care organization in the Southeast Arizona, serving more than 30,000 patients a year. About 61% of CCHCI patients are on Medicaid or uninsured and more than 25% live below 200% of the federal poverty level. CCHCI operates fourteen fixed-site medical clinics and seven mobile medical and dental units, which serve patients in border regions covering more than 6,200 square miles of Cochise County.
About The Body Agency Collective
The Body Agency Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to empower young people in sexual health and wellness. TBA Collective seeks out the latest innovation, tests it, and then helps grow nationally and globally. Current programs are located in Ukraine, the United States, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.
About Visby Medical™
Visby Medical transforms the order of infectious disease diagnosis and treatment so clinicians can test, talk to and treat the patient in a single visit. The company’s proprietary technology development program has resulted in the world’s first instrument-free, single-use PCR platform that fits in the palm of your hand and rapidly tests for serious infections. Originally developed for sexually transmitted infections, the FDA-cleared, CLIA-exempt Female Sexual Health Click Test delivers accurate results in 28 minutes. Visby Medical technology is also helping to fight the global pandemic through the Visby Medical COVID-19 test, and its robust pipeline includes tests for other infectious diseases. Visby Medical is accelerating the delivery of fast, accurate, palm-sized PCR diagnostics to the point of care, and eventually for home use. For more information, visit www.visbymedical.com. Follow Visby Medical on LinkedIn; Facebookand Twitter.
Jane Montgomery – Public relations specialist
The Body Agency Collective
Kate Robert – Founder
Visby Medical, Inc.
Doug Hochstedler – Vice President, Health