ND Health and binx health collaborate to combat the spread of STIs

The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is working to combat the spread and support the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in North Dakota.   Through a collaboration with binx health, North Dakota residents can discreetly and securely obtain an at-home test collection kit at no cost.

One in 150 people in North Dakota will contract a chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis each year. The good news is virtually all STIs are treatable, and most are easily cured. The key to good sexual health is to get tested and knowing your status to get treated early and avoid transmitting the infection to others. This screening method can be done entirely from home thanks to the partnership with binx health.

This project seeks to provide at-home test collection kits to individuals at heightened risk of acquiring an STI, HIV, and/or hepatitis C. This would include men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, people who inject drugs (PWID), and others who have had a known or suspected exposure. This project will increase access to HIV/STI/Viral Hepatitis testing to reduce the risk and burden of infection by eliminating potential geographic, transportation, and stigma barriers.

To obtain a test kit, individuals answer a series of simple questions on the NDDoH’s confidential, HIPAA-compliant sexual health risk assessment.  The responses to the assessment help determine what type of test kit is appropriate for the individual. A North Dakota licensed healthcare provider specializing in compassionate sexual health and LGBTQIA+ healthcare will review, and if appropriate, approve the test order, after which the test kit is shipped to the patient.  The patient collects and mails a sample to a partner CAP-accredited and CLIA-Certified reference laboratory for testing.  This provider will then review the test results and recommends appropriate treatment options and prescribe medication as necessary.

Through this project, individuals can start or continue HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services at home with the binx PrEP kit that includes the necessary tests to start and maintain this important prevention regimen.  PrEP is an HIV prevention method in which HIV-negative people take a daily pill or bi-monthly injection to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. When used consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection among adult men and women at risk for HIV infection through sex (99% effective) or injection drug use (74% effective). Use of this medication is coupled with ongoing medical visits that include HIV and STI screening tests and patient evaluation for safety and renewed prescriptions.

For others who have the ability to and like the opportunity to see and interact with a healthcare provider, NDDoH still has options for you to seek out testing in those environments.  Find HIV/HCV Counseling Testing and Referral (CTR) Sites in locations across the state.