Existence, Distribution, and Characteristics of STD Clinics in the United States, 2017.Public Health Rep 2019 Jul/Aug; 134(4):371-378PH
Studies of sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics have been limited by the lack of a national list for representative sampling. We sought to establish the number, type, and distribution of STD clinics and describe selected community characteristics associated with them.
We conducted a 2-phased, multilevel, online search from September 2014 through March 2015 and from May through October 2017 to identify STD clinics in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. We obtained data on clinic name, address, contact information, and 340B funding status (which requires manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs at reduced prices). We classified clinics by type. We also obtained secondary county-level data to compare rates of chlamydia and HIV, teen births, uninsurance and unemployment, and high school graduation; ratios of primary care physician to population; health care costs; median household income; and percentage of population living in rural areas vs nonrural areas. We used t tests to examine mean differences in characteristics between counties with and without STD clinics.
We found 4079 STD clinics and classified them into 10 types; 2530 (62.0%) clinics were affiliated with a local health department. Of 3129 counties, 1098 (35.1%) did not have an STD clinic. Twelve states had an STD clinic in every county, and 34 states had ≥1 clinic per 100 000 population. Most STD clinics were located in areas of high chlamydia morbidity and where other surrogate needs were greatest; rural areas were underserved by STD clinics.
This list may aid in more comprehensive national studies of clinic services, STD clinic adaptation to external policy changes (eg, in public financing or patient access policy), and long-term clinic survival, with special attention to clinic coverage in rural areas.