Carving a niche in self-test

SALT LAKE CITY — Identigene last month officially unveiled its Identigene STD test kit, which tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea—two of the more common sexually transmitted diseases—and essentially created a new niche within the growing self-test category.

For the 52 weeks ended Oct. 3, sales of self-test kits—including paternity, drug testing and disease state screening—were up 20.5% to $57.2 million across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group data.

Often, infected people don’t know they have contracted an STD that can harm them and others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends yearly testing for people who are sexually active, especially for pregnant women. The agency estimated that more than 1 million Americans between the ages of 14 and 39 years are infected with an STD each year.

Untreated complications from chlamydia and gonorrhea can be severe and may include infertility or sterility. Women may get pelvic inflammatory disease and are five times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS if infected by chlamydia.