Raising Awareness with "Donut Stress, Just Test" Campaign

January 10, 2022

HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and STIs disproportionally affect the communities served by community health centers. By using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) opt-out model, community health centers are well positioned to reduce barriers patients may experience and promote linkage to care.

The “Donut Stress Just Test” campaign was recently launched as part of the routine screening project by the Iowa Primary Care Association. The campaign was developed to raise awareness and promote CDC recommendations for opt-out HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and STI screening at Iowa’s Community Health Centers. 

The routine screening project began in 2013 as a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa PCA to promote HIV, HCV, and STI prevention, screening, and treatment. Screening patients regardless of their risk factors is especially important to preventing the spread of HIV, HCV, and STIs in Iowa. It is recommended that all patients aged 13-65 are screened at least once in a lifetime for HIV. In addition to HIV, all patients between the ages of 18 and 79 should be screened at least once in their lifetime for HCV regardless of risk factors. It is also recommended all sexually active females under the age of 25 are screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Essential to performing once-in-a-lifetime testing is the opt-out model. This is when the health care provider informs the patient either verbally or in writing that HIV testing will be performed. Performing the opt-out model can help normalize and destigmatize the HIV testing process and has demonstrated a higher acceptance among patients to get tested for HIV. Patients always have the right to refuse the test if they choose, although providers who perform opt-out testing help to foster earlier diagnosis and treatment in their patients as well as reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and HCV to others.

You can learn more about the routine screening project in this informational video and follow along with the "Donut Stress, Just Test" campaign on TikTok @donutstressjusttest