So you’re sitting at home on a Monday night, settling in to watch My Kitchen Rules or Q&A (whatever floats your boat, no judgement here).
You’re just about to take that first sip of your cup of tea or glass of wine, when you receive a text.
It’s from your ex. Ugh.
You expect it say, “I love you, I miss you, you’re the most amazing sex I’ve ever had, please take me back”.
Or perhaps, “Please stop retweeting my pithy Q and A commentary, it makes me deeply uncomfortable.”
Or even, “Hry bsbe wat yui up to?”, if they’re the type to drunken text on a Monday night.
But instead, your text message says this: “John R’s results. Tested two months ago. HIV: NEG, Gonorrhea: NEG, Chlamydia: POS, Syphilis: NEG. Disclaimer: This person may have had sex since being tested. Reply STOP or HELP. Msg&Data rates may apply.”
That’s right. John R has just texted you his STD results.
Because apparently, that’s a thing now.
So if you’ve contracted an STD, need to tell your sexual partner or previous partners and aren’t that into awkward conversations: there are websites that can help YOU.
These sites allow you to request your STD results from doctors… and then share them with a past sexual partner or (if the results are negative) with someone you would, ahem, like to get intimate with, through an emailed link or a text message.
Once users give sign up by providing some basic personal information — like their name, age, phone number — Qpid.me creates a records request that gets e-faxed to their doctor. When the results come back, users are able to share a one-time use link with anyone they want. The site shares results for HIV, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C antibody, as well as the HPV and hepatitis A vaccines, but does not include HPV and herpes status.
Proponents of the site say it empowers users to get and stay on top of their STD results in an easy way. For too long, health care providers have told patients that “no news is good news,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA who serves as a medical advisor to Qpid.me.
“People have a right to that information,” he said, adding that “anything that promotes more conversation, more dialogues and more transparency in sexuality is a good thing.”
Sex just got tech savvy. Or rather: more tech savvy.
With websites, text messages and phone apps now assisting in the discussion of sexual health, it represents a definite shift away from the social mores of the past. Where once sexually transmitted diseases would only have been discussed in hushed tones and behind closed doors, now your private records are an open book (or e-book) – to whomever you want to share that information with.