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Key Gaps in the Delivery of Comprehensive Clinical Services for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Allegheny County

Pathri, Neelima (2024) Key Gaps in the Delivery of Comprehensive Clinical Services for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Allegheny County. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Problem: The CDC reports a steep rise in the number of reportable sexually transmitted infections in the United States over recent years. The ACHD STI/HIV Clinic provides comprehensive STI care, however, considering uninsured and underinsured populations, the health department's clinical services are challenged while providing free or low-cost specialty care. This care deficit impedes sexual and reproductive health adding to the economic burden on the health systems. This matter warrants immediate attention from health authorities, public health specialists, and government bodies.
Methods: 1) Examine County-level operations to identify low-cost specialty care options that allow for clinic enhancement per the CDC best practice standards, especially while providing care for STI complications in the uninsured and underinsured. 2) Review current policies, literature, and reports from public health agencies and relevant articles.
Results: Medicaid, Medicare, and sliding scale are low-cost options currently available for primary care at FQHCs. The Birmingham clinic and McKeesport’s Ninth Street clinic provide specialty care for the uninsured in Allegheny County. The financial assistance programs are offered by AHN and UPMC networks for those with STI complications regardless of HIV status. Other non-profit organizations such as the AHN Center for Inclusion Health and Pittsburgh Area Center for Treatment of HIV provide low-cost specialty care for STI complications in uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV, while Planned Parenthood, Allies for Health and Wellbeing, and Central Outreach Wellness Center provide low-cost care for STIs in uninsured regardless of HIV status.
Conclusion: Structural bias, racism and stigma inherently co-exist within the health systems. Allocating more public health funds can allow for enhanced quality of STI clinical care services including specialty care, developing health programs with a focus on harm reduction, and above all, destigmatizing STIs is essential for improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Point-of-care testing, linkage to care, along with financial and social support are promising. As a local government agency, ACHD advocates for public health initiatives driven to overcome health inequities and provides free STI care in Allegheny County.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pathri, Neelimanep46@pitt.edunep46
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGivens, Daviddlg43@pitt.edudlg43UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberWiesenfeld, Haroldwiesenfh@pitt.eduwiesenfhUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberNightingale, BarbaraBarbara.Nightingale@AlleghenyCounty.USUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberNagy, AnnieAnnie.Nagy@AlleghenyCounty.USUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 13 May 2024
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 103
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 18:48
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 18:48


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