With the explosion of Tinder, E-Harmony, OKCupid and other online dating apps, it’s easier than ever to find love in your city. Thanks to Tinder alone, 1.5 million people dated last week. But with the ease and frequency of modern dating and the casual, anonymous sex that comes with it, there’s not always time for conversations about important topics, like STDs.
“It goes like this: ‘Ummmm, do you have any STDS?'” says Oksana Wright, co-founder of the Social Health Registry app. “Many people don’t even bring up the question because of how awkward it actually is.”
This so-called “Tinder Effect” is part of the reason that Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and HIV have rocketed to all-time highs in the United States. But Wright is developing an app that she hopes will be a game-changer for this epidemic.
The Social Health Registry (SHR) app allows a user to register and then upload their current medical status. This confidential information would not be shared with anyone else, however the app would calculate and award a “badge” to the user, based on how many days since their last STD test and whether they are clean or not.
Right now, the app is in early stages of development. Wright wants to partner with STD Testing Laboratories so they can upload test results to the app without the user having to be bothered to self-report. She also wants to integrate the database into online dating apps, so when you match with someone it also displays their SHR badge in their profile.
This system should allow both dating individuals to skip the awkward “do you have STDs?” question, and judge for themselves whether that person’s sexual history changes whether they would go on a date or hook up.
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