Whether you will be skiing in Colorado, studying for the GRE or singing “I Love College” on South Padre Island during spring break, a new website, Qpid.me, allows you to share a little sexual-health knowledge with any potential sex partners you may encounter.
Although no one wants to be the “buzz kill” of spring break activities, two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyses released last month drew attention to the “severe human and economic burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States.”
The CDC estimates that teens and young adults from ages 15 to 24 account for half of 19.7 million new cases of STIs in the U.S. each year, despite representing only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population.
Alarming statistics aside, the great thing about living in today’s technology-driven world is that apps and websites now enable us to share our STI statuses online. That’s right. The must-have technology this spring break isn’t a map or a party guide. It’s a website that allows you to verify and check someone’s STI status.
Ramin Bastani, founder of Qpid.me, shared insights on the new website and how the site works.
First, rather than simply listing locations to get tested, Qpid.me is conducting research at actual testing sites to inform its clientele which locations provide the best testing experiences. Testing can be nerve-racking, and there’s nothing worse than getting tested in a place that makes you uncomfortable.
Second, the website empowers you to request your results. If you’ve ever been tested, a doctor may have told you, “Wait two weeks, and if you don’t hear anything back, all is good!” The next two weeks then become the longest, most dreadful two weeks of the semester. Through Qpid.me, you can request to view your actual results from the doctor and store them in your private account, even if you never wish to share the results with others.
Third, Qpid.me empowers you to share your results with others if you wish to. Fourth, the website sends reminders about when you got tested and when it’s time to see the doctor again.
Rather than approaching sex and sexual health through the lens of fear and intimidation, the website wants its users to take charge of their sexual health, and use technology to do so.
“The reality is that college students and even high school seniors take a trip during spring break,” Bastani said. “We are just trying to help them make safer choices and realize it’s essential to protect yourself if you choose to engage in sexual activity with someone you don’t know well.”
With the tagline “Spread the Love, Nothing Else” the website enables people to practice safer sex by sending anyone an online report of one’s STI status, as long as you authorize it. The website is a free online tool for anyone who wants to obtain, securely store and privately share his or her test results.
Lastly, while getting tested is part of the solution for protecting oneself from STIs, Bastani said the Qpid.me team always follows up messages about the importance of getting tested with messages that empower individuals to make safe choices and to use condoms.
Published on March 6, 2013 as "Website facilitates STI status sharing".