Ash Wellness and Caraway Partner to Address Surge in Gen Z Sexually Transmitted Infections
Collaboration lowers barriers to STI testing by offering complimentary, customized test kits on-demand, and sending them directly to college students’ addresses
NEW YORK — February 14, 2023 -- This Valentine’s Day, Ash Wellness, an at-home diagnostics and testing company, announces its partnership with Caraway, a digital healthcare company for Gen Z, to combat the rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on college campuses. Caraway’s members can now access complimentary, discrete and on-demand STI kits delivered directly to their addresses in New York, California, Ohio and North Carolina, with follow-up guidance and treatment by an integrated care team. The partnership provides Gen Z with the tools they need to prioritize their sexual health on their own terms.
In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 2.5 million cases in the United States of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – with a 26% increase in syphilis rates compared to the year prior. The Gen Z population makes up a large part of these cases, as half of all new STI infections are among 15-to-24-year-olds despite representing only a quarter of the population, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health.
“When you look at the data over the last couple of years, the takeaway is clear – current STI prevention methods are not working for Gen Z,” said David Stein, CEO and co-founder of Ash Wellness. “Gen Z doesn’t get tested for a variety of reasons, but some of the most prevalent we’ve seen are convenience, cost and stigma. We’re excited to partner with Caraway to address these barriers and make healthcare more inclusive and accessible for college students and their peers through comprehensive testing and care.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual STI screening for anyone sexually active under the age of 25. With condom use declining in younger populations, increasing testing is paramount. For racial and ethnic minority groups that have been historically overlooked and underserved by traditional healthcare, disparities in STIs persist.
“For Gen Z, STI rates are at an all-time high and the pace with which they spread makes it critical for students to get screened regularly,” said Lori Evans Bernstein, CEO and co-founder of Caraway. “In collaboration with Ash Wellness, we selected the most relevant panel of tests for Gen Z instantly accessible via our mobile app, with the wraparound guidance and treatment from our care team. By providing college students, and their peers, with the option to have testing and care in a convenient, private place, we are giving agency to all members to maintain a regular STI testing cadence that supports safer sex.”
The Gen Z-friendly kits are specially-packaged with a panel of tests – both for STIs and sexual health – including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis C, trichomoniasis, candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis. The kits include multi-site test swabs for STIs (oral, rectal and vaginal) and a urine and/or blood test.
How it works:
Gen Z, ages 18+, sign up for a Caraway membership via its mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. Once signed up, they are integrated into Caraway’s inclusive care platform with access to mental, physical and reproductive health services, and complimentary STI test kits:
- Members request, or are recommended, a kit from Caraway’s care team via chat and the kit is mailed directly to their residence.
- Members follow the instructions included in the test kit with easy instructions and custom videos and mail back the kits with a free return label via USPS.
- Results are reviewed by Caraway’s care team, and in the event of a reactive result, a care team practitioner will reach out directly to discuss next steps including treatment and preventative strategies for the future.
About Ash Wellness
Ash Wellness is paving the way for more inclusive and accessible healthcare by enabling and managing at-home diagnostics for the healthcare community. Founded by a largely queer team to address barriers to healthcare, Ash Wellness has created a versatile solution that supports health systems, public health institutions, universities, pharmaceuticals, payers, wellness companies and more. Ash Wellness partners have access to a CLIA/CAP certified lab network in all 50 states, white-label branding capabilities, and 150+ different at-home diagnostic tests. For more information, visit www.poweredbyash.com.
Caraway is a digital healthcare company for Gen Z providing mental, physical & reproductive healthcare services, all in one place. Caraway’s experienced care team delivers 24/7 access to integrated, evidence-based care tailored to 18-27 year olds. In response to an unprecedented need for mental health resources and new barriers and persistent inequities in women’s health, Caraway built an inclusive care platform that is instantly accessible, always available, comprehensive, and equitable. Caraway’s services are designed for and centered around women and individuals who were assigned female at birth (AFAB), and personalized for all, so members can get the care they need when they need it. For more information, visit us at Caraway.health and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
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