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The Baltimore City Health Department has declared a Winter Shelter Status alert for Saturday, January 13 to Friday, January 19. Find additional information on winter shelter status and resources here.
Why are we focused on sexual health? We strive to provide our clients with whole-person health care, and that means treating sexually transmitted infections (STI), along with everything else. We are committed to integrating STI testing into all areas of our work, including departments that don’t typically deal with STIs.
How's it going? We launched a pilot program which prompted psychiatrists to identify eligible clients for rapid testing. . After identifying clients who needed testing, used our electronic health record system to alert unit clerks to schedule an appointment with our (CTR) Counseling, Testing and Referral Coordinator. In addition to testing clients for STIs, our CTR Coordinator frequently holds information sessions, both group and one-on-one, to educate our clients about their sexual health.
What's next? We know there is a better way to do referrals, so we are working on a revised screening form. Also, we've heard from clients that they're ashamed to get tested, and treated, because of the stigma associated with the infection. We are reminding staff to use the standard check-out flag so that clients can be confidentially referred for testing while they are in the building for other services.