There is nothing more terrifying than getting an STD test. I got my first one at 18 after being pressured by my gyno after I made it very clear that I just wanted birth control. Contrary to what Judgey McJudgypants thought, this exam was actually the first time I let a complete stranger into my pants. She ordered the test anyway, and even though I wasn’t even sexually active yet, I was still convinced I would be in that .08 percent of people who got herpes from a toilet seat.
STD tests are even more embarrassing in college. At every yearly exam, my doctor asks me if I want one and my answer is always super casual. A little too casual. “An STD test? Huh. Haven’t thought about it, really. I guess it wouldn’t hurt. I mean, if it’s easy, why not. Whatever.”
The heroes over at Planned Parenthood came up with a genius app that takes all the embarrassing human contact out of getting an STD test. The app, called Planned Parenthood Direct, lets you order a confidential STD urine test delivered to your house in discreet packaging that checks for chlamydia and gonorrhea. It costs $149, but can you really put a price on convenience and potentially running into someone you know at a clinic? Apparently you can, and it’s $149. You pee in a cup, send the kit back, and within a few days the app will notify you of your health status. God forbid, if you test positive for chlamydia, the app sends you a notification and sends a prescription to your nearest pharmacy. Easy as pie. If you test positive for gonorrhea, the app prompts you to make an appointment at the clinic for treatment.
The service is restricted to California for now, but Planned Parenthood hopes to expand nationwide soon. It also plans to incorporate other services, like ordering a birth control prescription without having to go see a doctor. Isn’t technology great?
Obviously, the app shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for regular reproductive health checkups, but it is a great way for people to get the care they need if they’re too busy (or embarrassed) to go into a regular clinic.
It’ll still be terrifying waiting for the results to come back, but at least you can avoid that awkward conversation with your health care provider. Bless you, Planned Parenthood..
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