If you think that you may have a sexually transmitted disease (“STD”, which used to be known as “VD”, or venereal disease or – as it’s known in the UK – sexually transmitted infection or “STI”), such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia or gonorrhea, or even HIV, and want to get yourself tested without having to leave your house, well, now there’s an app for that. Or, there will be, once the eSTI project goes from prototype to drug store.
According to lead developer, Dr. Tariq Sadiq, “Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor. It diagnoses whether you’ve got one of a range of STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea and tells you where to go next to get treatment. We need to tackle the rising epidemic of STIs, which have been going up and up and up. Britain is one of the worst [countries] in western Europe for teenage pregnancy and STIs. That there’s a major embarrassment factor here, especially among young people, makes the situation worse.”
And, getting yourself tested for STDs online seems only right when you consider that research has sites such as Facebook linked to the increase in veneral disease. Hey, if you can contract it because of an online hookup, you should be able to diagnose it the same way, right?
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Dr. Sadiq is working with dozens of other scientist from around the UK on the project which has been dubbed “Electronic Self-testing Instruments for Sexually Transmitted Infections”, or eSTI², for short.
The way that it works is this: The user places a urine sample on the testing mechanism, which is about the size of a USB flash drive, and connects the testing mechanism to their smart phone. The smart phone then connects to the lab, which analyzes the information sent through the phone from the testing device.
Sound far-fetched? It isn’t really, when you consider that similar devices and apps are already being pushed through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), like this blood glucose monitor for the iPhone.
Of course, as in many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Meaning, be more choosey about with whom you sleep, and if you aren’t sure, glove for love.
Now, if only there were an app for that.
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