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Published on February 26, 2024
San Mateo County Residents Now Offered Free In-Home STI Test Kits Through TakeMeHome ProgramSource: Google Street View

To combat the rising tide of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), San Mateo County residents can now breathe easier thanks to the TakeMeHome program, which provides free in-home STI test kits. The California Department of Public Health, in partnership with County Health, is stepping up their game, mailing the kits directly to those eligible. The kit screens for a range of infections, including HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis C, making it a comprehensive tool in the fight against STIs. After mailing back the samples, residents can discreetly access their results online.

The introduction of this home testing comes at a timely moment, given the concerning increment of STIs reported in the area. According to San Mateo County Health, chlamydia cases have climbed by 11 percent in men and 7 percent in women in just the third quarter of 2023. Working with the local labs, the test results from TakeMeHome are shared with County Health, which may follow up with the residents for potential treatment information and further steps.

Developed through a collaboration among Emory University, the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors, and Building Healthy Online Communities, the program is a unique blend of public health expertise and technology. Currently, it spans fourteen counties in California. "Getting tested for STIs is essential to maintaining good health overall. STIs, including HIV, can be effectively prevented," Dr. Vivian Levy, County Health’s STI control officer, told County Health. Late testers, representing those diagnosed with AIDS within a year of receiving an HIV-positive result, were notably 16.4 percent of new HIV cases in 2022, showing the need for proactive testing.

Expanding beyond in-home testing, County Health also offer in-person testing at their Edison STI Clinic, with no appointments needed, allowing easy access for those preferring or needing immediate assistance. For more information or to order a test kit, folks just need to click over to, complete a simple eligibility questionnaire, and watch instructional videos on sample collection if they're new to the process.