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Coming Soon: An App that Tests for STIs

According to the Guardian, some doctors and tech experts are working on a small device to that’ll make testing for sexually transmitted infections easier than ever. You’ll put urine or saliva on a chip about the size of a flash drive, plug it into your phone or computer and find out within minutes if you have an STI. If you test positive for something, you’ll get information on treatment options, too. It’s called the eSTI² electronic self-testing instruments for STIs. Not very catchy but it looks good in print, I suppose.

Of course, there are some things to work out. For example, will the device be able to screen for all STIs? How accurate will it be? How soon after infection will it give a positive result? What about privacy? After all, we leave digital traces everywhere and folks won’t use it if they’re concerned about being tracked. And what about people who want or need counseling around their results?

But if it ends up happening, I can see it really changing things. For example, you could have your one-night stand get show you whether they have any STIs before you leave the bar (assuming that it’s a saliva test, I suppose). And because it’ll be so fast and easy, people who are too embarrassed to go to a clinic will be able to get tested.

Seems like a great idea to me. As long as your results don’t automatically show up on Facebook!


Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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