The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC) released its 2023 Sexually Transmitted Disease Report that details the frequency of sexually transmitted infections across the United States. It may come as no surprise that Florida ranks #7 for the highest number of sexually transmitted diseases reported state-wide, with Central Florida rounding out the 53 rd spot in the nation for the highest STI occurrences within an urban district.
*1 Most Americans agree that Florida is the “party state,” however, there are better ways to procure that distinction.
Dr. Roberto Ortiz, owner of Bliss Health in Orlando, FL, believes that the latency between patient consultation and laboratory test results is an opportunistic time for infections to pass between sexual partners. He hopes to harness the modality of STIs amongst the sexually active population in Orlando, FL by reducing the time between test result and treatment. Once specimens are collected during a sexual health screening they are typically sent to a laboratory for processing, and this can take days before the results come back in. Dr. Ortiz’s goal is to shrink that window of opportunity by
processing lab specimens within his own office so that results are available within the same day of the patient’s visit. This allows for immediate treatment of asymptomatic infections with proper therapeutic intervention that will mitigate further transmissions.
Bliss Health is the only private facility in central Florida to attempt this ambitious endeavor which is pioneering a new standard of care for treating STI’s and a new philosophy in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases. Technological advancements have made in-house specimen processing a possibility for offices like Bliss Health but still require special licensing that can be costly and difficult to obtain. Dr. Ortiz is meeting that challenge head- on and the latest weapon in the Bliss Health arsenal is the AIX1000 Syphilis RPR processor that can pump out a reactive syphilis titer in under 30 minutes; a laboratory test that usually takes up to two or three days to result. Syphilis is difficult to detect as it often has no symptoms during the first stages of infection. It is also tricky to treat and requires a time-consuming titer assay to determine the stage of infection so that a doctor can provide appropriate treatment. With the AIX1000, a fully automated process replaces an analysis that was once done individually by hand. The AIX1000 not only reduces processing time by performing up to 192 patient specimens simultaneously, but it also reduces processing errors.
Bliss Health is the first doctor’s office in Central Florida to offer this level of specimen-processing-power and the only private facility in the state of Florida to do so. The only other patient care facilities in Florida with an AIX1000 are the public health departments in Miami and Tampa which don’t offer same- day test results and only provide prophylactic treatment for patients with active symptoms.
By: Joshua Griffin | Jessica Rivera