This episode explores the role of at-home diagnostic testing in managing and preventing sexually transmitted diseases. More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which include syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV hepatitis, and other infections, are acquired every day worldwide. The majority of STIs are asymptomatic early detection that much more important to prevent the spread of these diseases.
According to WHO, globally, 38.4 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2021. Science has advanced immensively to help treat and manage HIV. For over a decade, populations at risk can take preventative pills, which prevent HIV infections by over 99%. Unfortunately, access to this prophylaxis shouldn’t be taken for granted. In the US, prevention is supposed to be covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act. However, in September, a district court ruling in Texax potentially endangered this access. A Christian-owned company argued against the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers and employers offer plans that cover PrEP for free. The argument was that this statutory provision “forces religious employers to provide coverage for drugs that facilitate and encourage homosexual behavior, prostitution, sexual promiscuity, and intravenous drug use.” The company won the case, and the ruling opened up concerns about what this will mean for future efforts and coverage for preventative health measures.
In this – which was published before the Texas Court ruling -, you will hear from Emma Rayer is the Head of Strategic Partnerships for Ash Wellness, a remote diagnostics solution. Ash Wellness supports traditional healthcare systems, universities, public health initiatives, and digital health companies in giving patients access to at-home sample collection kits that are then sent and analyzed in laboratories.
Emma talked about the differences in the attitude towards testing for STIs in South Africa, where she grew up in and the US, where she lives now. She also explained how the Ash platform works, how is at-home diagnostics market evolving, and more.
Recap of this episode: www.facesofdigitalhealth.com/blog/std-prevention-through-platform
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