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The Community Approaches to Reducing STDs (CARS) Program Distributed Over 1,300 STD Test Kits to Young Women in 2012

CARS Test Kit DistributionDid you know that Los Angeles County is a national epicenter of sexually transmitted infections? The most common reportable STDs, chlamydia and gonorrhea, disproportionately affect young women of color in south Los Angeles. Since 2011, Sentient Research has managed a CDC funded initiative, Community Approaches to Reducing STDs (CARS) that focuses on engaging community stakeholders to plan and implement sustainable interventions and programs to reduce STD disparities by addressing multiple social determinants of sexual health. Among several key components of the program is an effort to increase access to STD screening in South LA through targeted outreach.

The expanded screening component builds upon LA County's I Know home testing program, which launched in 2009 to enable women to order free chlamydia and gonorrhea test kits by phone or through a website ( Under CARS, this program has been substantially expanded by placing tablet computers in the hands of trained outreach workers who directly distribute test kits in neighborhoods hardest hit by STDs.

Thus far, the expanded screening component of CARs has been highly successful. In 2012, over 2,917 test kits were distributed to young women in Los Angeles County, of which 1,323 (60%) test kits were distributed by targeted outreach.


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