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Our Projects

Our Center is involved in many projects to help fulfill our mission of bringing about accurate, acceptable, and easily implemented point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted diseases in both resource-rich and resource-limited settings. A selection of our current projects is listed below.

I Want The Kit (IWTK)

Conducting testing in STD Lab
Lab personnel conducting STD tests in the laboratory

Project Leads: Johan Melendez, PhD and Gretchen Armington, MA

The purpose of I Want The Kit (IWTK) is to increase screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis in adolescents and adults who may be at risk. IWTK users order a test kit online, collect samples at home, and mail them to JHU for testing. Results and follow-up instructions are provided to users. The program is free.

Time Motion Study

Project Lead: Lea Widdice, MD

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of our sites for clinical validation, is conducting a time motion study comparing the clinical and laboratory impact of a point-of-care test for trichomoniasis with a non-point-of-care test. They will compare the testing processes, staff time, cost of providing results, and rates of compliance with standard operating procedures.

Emergency Department Clinical Pathways for Suspect Sexually Transmitted Infections

Project Lead: Richard Rothman, MD, PhD

The JHU Emergency Department will develop expedited clinical pathways for female and male patients who present with signs and symptoms which might indicate an STD, via a series of expert consensus meetings. Under each clinical pathway, a set of standard of care laboratory-based STD testing panels will be recommended. Potential point-of-care STD assays that could rapidly diagnose infections or replace laboratory-based testing will be proposed.

COPHAS (Community Pharmacies for Assessing STI Using Point of Care Diagnostics)

Project Leads: Agnes Kiragga, PhD and Annet Onzia

This study is being conducted in community pharmacies in Kampala, Uganda. Women who visit pharmacies seeking emergency contraception as well as individuals seeking STI treatment are being enrolled in the study and tested for STIs and HIV.

Tactical Funding Solicitation

Project Lead: Joany Jackman, PhD

Each year the Center funds up to three proposals from STD point-of-care technology developers. Each award is $50,000 for a limited scope project.  The funds are intended to be used “tactically” for a (some) critical experiment(s) which will advance the assay and enable the developer to secure new funding at the levels needed for successful commercialization. In addition to providing funds, the Center’s Technology Development team offers the developers scientific advice and support.

Massive Open Online Course Development

Project Lead: Anne Rompalo, MD

Dr. Rompalo, with participation from many other Center personnel, developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled Point of Care Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections. This course looks at point of care testing for sexually transmitted infections from the perspective of the clinician, the patient, and the regulatory environment. The course is free and self-paced.