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At the Center for Point-of-Care Technologies Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, our mission is to develop and test the accuracy, acceptability, and optimal implementation of point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted diseases in diverse care delivery contexts both in the United States and in resource-limited settings.

Located in the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Center brings together a dedicated and experienced group of faculty and staff who are committed to stopping the epidemic of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. In addition to personnel from Johns Hopkins, the Center includes scientists and staff from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) in Kampala, Uganda. We are part of the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) which was created by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in 2007. We are funded through a grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).


A Hidden Epidemic in the United States and Beyond

The need to develop sensitive, specific, and more easily available point-of-care (POC) technologies for diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is critical. Five of the top ten reportable diseases in the United States are STDs. CDC data indicate that in 2018 in the United States, a combined total of nearly 2.5 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported. The global incidence of four curable sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis) is estimated at over 357 million cases. Many cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Young people (ages 15-24) are particularly affected, accounting for half of all new infections. Some of these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have the potential to cause serious health problems, especially if not diagnosed and treated early. Stigma, privacy, and confidentiality issues make STDs/STIs optimal areas for point-of-care tests at healthcare facilities and for over-the-counter tests performed at home. 


Our Organization

Our cores work collaboratively to identify promising emerging technologies and facilitate their translation along a development pipeline.  

  • The Administrative Core is led by the Center’s Co-Principal Investigators, Drs. Gaydos and Manabe. Under their leadership, personnel in this core manage the Center’s communications, finances, partnerships, and reporting. They also ensure responsiveness to members of the research community who wish to access the Center and promote teambuilding and project integration within the Center. Oversight of the characterized specimen biorepository for technical developers and the Technology Watch Database are also provided by this core.

  • This core includes experts and resources from an adolescent ambulatory clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, an urban Emergency Department at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and outpatient clinics in Uganda, a low-resource setting. The core’s aims include evaluating the diagnostic accuracy, usability, and acceptability of prototype point-of-care devices for STD diagnosis and evaluating the implementation of point-of-care devices, including end-users’ assessments of preference, acceptability, and usability.

  • Personnel in this core seek out research facilities, start-up companies, and large diagnostic companies whose technology could be applied to the rapid analysis of nucleic acid or protein targets and inform them about the opportunities within the STD point-of-care testing market and the support available through the Center.  Also, core personnel manage annual subaward solicitations to fund promising technologies under development. Systems bioengineering support is also provided through this core.

  • This core has three aims. The first is to train technology developers on STD care delivery processes and STD clinicians and clinic administrators on how to incorporate available STD point-of-care devices into the work flow. The second aim is to conduct focus groups that inform future STD point-of-care device needs assessments. The final aim is to disseminate the needs assessment results to inform future POC STD diagnostic development.



  • Get Tested

    This website is a service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It provides users with locations for HIV, STD, and hepatitis testing and STD and hepatitis vaccines around the United States.

  • National Women's Health Information Center is a service of the Office on Women's Health (OWH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to provide national leadership and coordination to improve the health of women and girls through policy, education, and innovative programs.

  • Planned Parenthood

    Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.

  • Kaiser Family Foundation

    A leader in health policy and communications, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation. Their focus is on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy.

  • American Sexual Health Association

    The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) has a long history of delivering the facts, the support, and the resources to answer your questions and help you find referrals, support groups, and in-depth information about sexually transmitted infections and sexual health.

  • National Coalition for Sexual Health

    The National Coalition for Sexual Health (NCSH) aims to improve sexual health and well-being by encouraging productive and sustained conversations about sexual health and promoting high quality sexual health information and health services.


Education and Training

  • The National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers (NNPTC) is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The intent of the network is to provide U.S. clinicians with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to address and prevent STDs in patients. There are 8 regional centers in the network that provide clinician training. One of them is located at Johns Hopkins. The STD/HIV Prevention Training Center at Johns Hopkins offers STD clinical training in eastern region states including Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. 

  • General STD information, statistics, treatment guidelines, and prevention facts are available from the CDC'S Division of STD Prevention. Learn more. Online courses and webinars are available. View the current training courses.
  • The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is dedicated to the education of a diverse group of research scientists and public health professionals. Students may pursue STD research interests in one of three tracks -behavioral science, clinical epidemiology, or basic science.
  • The Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Research Laboratory conducts research, but is also a clinical and diagnostic laboratory. Our laboratory is recognized internationally for expertise as a reference laboratory for STDs, especially Chlamydia trachomatisNeisseria gonorrhoeaeTrichomonas vaginalisMycoplasma genitalium, HPV, and syphilis.The laboratory has served as the Core Diagnostic Laboratory and as the Reference Laboratory for many national and international grants for collaborative studies of STDs. Lab personnel collaborate with scientists and engineers on exploratory technology development projects. The laboratory is licensed by the State of Maryland, CAP accredited, and CLIA approved.

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