Tulane researchers launch sexual health website for young black men

The CDC’s current recommendations call for women to be screened for chlamydia, but not men, noting that evidence is lacking on the feasibility and benefit of screening men. Check It, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research project will now examine whether screening men for chlamydia can help curb this epidemic.  

A collaboration between the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and YEP Design Works, led to creation of the Check It website www.gocheckit.net, which is specifically designed for young black men to promote sexual health and screening for STIs, including chlamydia. 

Check It partners with local barbershops, colleges/universities and other non-clinical venues to reach 15-24 year old African American men who have sex with women, are new to testing and do not have symptoms.

Treatment for men who test positive and their sexual partners is provided by the project.  

Patty Kissinger, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology at Tulane is leading a multi-disciplinary team of investigators including Mac Hyman, PhD, Computational Mathematics; Charles Stoecker, PhD, Department of Global Health Policy and Management; Alyssa Lederer, PhD, Department of Global Community Health and Behavior; and David Martin, MD, Department of Epidemiology and LSU School of Medicine.  

“Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic in men, it is essential that we seek them out for screening and also include youth in the design and implementation of technology for effective messaging,” said Kissinger. 

The website, social media, and community influencers are used to increase sexual health awareness and screening of young black men. To date, the team has enrolled more than 1,000 participants and hopes to develop a roadmap for male screening for chlamydia.