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Table 2 Themes and illustrative quotes from eight focus groups demonstrating perceived barriers to STD case

From: Barriers to asymptomatic screening and other STD services for adolescents and young adults: focus group discussions

Theme Illustrative Quotes
Lack of STD knowledge among youth "[although we are able to name STDs], we don't know what any of these are."
Prohibitive cost of STD services "Sometimes people put up with something for that reason [the cost]. We say 'No, because afterwards there will be bills.'"
  "I wouldn't have any idea about like paying the bill. I don't pay bills. I don't have a job right now. I don't have a credit card."
Lack of privacy when seeking STD services "...you [have] to go to a special side of the building, like Clinic A or something, and everybody know you're going in there because you got a [STD]."
  "that's why when people wait in the waiting room, they be like 'I hope don't nobody come and see me!"'
Lengthy waits at STD service sites "...Say if you go to a private doctor, you know what I'm saying, it won't even take you – you just go in there, boom, get your physical and you're gone. But you come here [health department], you got to wait, wait, wait."
Language barrier at STD service sites "...They give you your form and you fill it out. Then they tell you to go sit down and then you're there for a long time, you spend almost the whole day sitting there waiting while they try to find a translator."
Perceived discrimination at clinical sites "Several Mexicans went [to the hospital] dying and in pain...And they wouldn't take care of us...Why weren't the Mexicans being treated like the Americans? Because of insurance, because of money."
  "There are a lot of racist [doctors] who don't like Mexicans, they treat the Americans, they treat the blacks, but us, they give us the evil eye."
Perceived judgmental or punitive STD providers [hearing about punitive providers would] "just make it a completely different environment – just knowing that...would make me not want to go."
Urethral swabs not acceptable "Well, if you're scared about it, yeah. Like, if you heard that somebody that you'd been involved with has an STD, or if you're having symptoms, of course you're gonna get tested, but if it's just regular, man, there's no reason to make it [a swab]. That's the worst solution...that's why nobody gets tested."