GetTested.com, a new at-home STD testing service, recently launched #STDsHappen, a campaign to encourage a wider conversation about safe sex.
As part of their initiative, the service decided to ask straight, gay, and bisexual men and women about their habits and experiences with STD testing — and many of their answers will surprise you.
The service was launched this fall, and it allows for male/female specific test kits to be ordered online and delivered in an unmarked, discreet package. The process takes nearly 10 minutes, and can be mailed to a CLIA certified and CAP accredited laboratory for testing. After three to five days, individuals will be notified of their results via email by logging in and accessing it online through a HIPAA compliant portal.
But despite the access to discreet testing, people are still hesitant to talk about STDs with their partners, even though many STDs are manageable (and curable) today. As a result, many are left untreated, which can lead to serious long-term effects.
“Each new partner increases your risk of an STD. Many people put their health at risk simply because they are afraid or embarrassed to have a conversation about testing,” Hannah Dela Cruz, spokesperson for GetTested.com, said in a statement “A healthy relationship starts with safe sex. Our initiative encourages individuals to get tested and have a healthy discussion about STDs.”
There are 20 million newly diagnosed STD cases in the United States every year. And even though gay and bisexual men who have sex with men are two percent of the population, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, they make up 55 percent of the total population living with HIV in the US. As Plus previously reported, if the rates continue to rise in this way, one in six gay and bisexual men will have HIV in their lifetime.
But the question remains: What are people so afraid of?
Find out here: