A brand new online service is allowing people to tell their previous partners anonymously about STIs, and hopes it will encourage more people to get tested.
E4's The Sex Clinic has links with this STI testing company, which allows service users to anonymously text or email current or former partners in order to tell them about the positive result.
Patients have a secure login to the online portal, where test results can be accessed, and if anyone tests positively for an STI, they can anonymously contact them.
Ireland is experiencing an STI crisis https://t.co/qZCQ1cz6Iy
— Better2Know.co.uk (@Better2Know_ltd) June 1, 2019
The person using the service can enter either an email address or mobile number for the person or people they want to notify, and select whether they want to remain anonymous or not.
After that, it's sent automatically and the weight is off your shoulders. Seems pretty easy, doesn't it? The only catch is if you don't have the person's email address or phone number…
The notice tells the receiver a “person who cares about you has recently tested positive for an STI” and explains in detail about the STI and how to get tested.
In 2018, gonorrhoea diagnoses rose by 26% from the previous year. This trend is concerning given the emergence of highly drug resistant gonorrhoea. Everyone can protect themselves from getting an STI with consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners pic.twitter.com/CO4uZSsue3
— PHE South West (@PHE_SouthWest) June 7, 2019
STI fact sheets, counselling and support, details on treatment and information on next steps can also be found on their website, Better2know.
Recently, a survey of 2,000 people undertaken by online pharmacy chemist-4-u.com found that a shocking 72 percent of people diagnosed with an STI chose NOT to tell their most recent sexual partners about it.
Better2know.co.uk, hopes to encourage the growth of sexual knowledge by making it easier to tell partners about STIs.
Metro.co.uk poll showed that 92 percent of people would be worried about how they'd be perceived by a partner who they told about an STI.
The website has been hugely successful so far with patients, who praise the service and claim they never would have notified previous partners unless it was anonymous.
Mike Asher, Chairman and CEO of Better2know.co.uk stated the importance of sexual healthcare and education;
“STIs are often initially symptomless, so people need to know their status and how to get treatment – whether that’s communicated anonymously or face-to-face.
"Too often people fail to properly communicate to sexual partners once they have had a positive result. Sometimes patients want to avoid awkwardness or it is because they are upset at the implications of the results," Asher continued.
"Other times it’s down to apprehension about how a recent or short-term partner might react or feelings of guilt. We hope the text service encourages people to inform partners that they are at risk and that as a result, more people get the testing and treatment they need."
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization have just published a study which warns of a 'silent epidemic' in terms of STIs.
According to the survey, an incredible one in 25 people globally are carrying an STI.
Better2know recommends considering the temperament of the partner or partners', and to accept that they may react negatively. Think about what emotional support the person will need, and physical healthcare.
End of thread: Decide what kind of sex you want. Talk to your sexual partner about the prevention methods that work best for you. Test regularly – Getting an #HIV test or STI screening doesn't mean you're a bad person. It just means you value your health. Enjoy Sex.
— Ireland / Síle (@ireland) November 30, 2018
Mike Asher says that how a person tells their partner or former lovers is a very personal choice, but anonymous services can beat the awkwardness, especially if the person barely knows their former partners.
“We are always keen that both parties are first in a place and position where they feel safe and able to process information,” he said.
Being open and honest with a partner is always best to reduce the risk of serious health complications, like infertility.