cell phone

Our smartphones can do a gazillion and one things like help us find the closest hotspot, manage our finances and even book a plane ticket. Now, it can even help us have safer sex. No, it won’t dispense a condom but it will allow you to share your STD status with that of your intended, uh hem, hook up.

The app, “Safe Bumping,” was created by Dr. Michael Nusbaum, the New Jersey developer of MedXSafe, who aims to curb the spread of STD’s – a case in where 19 million new infections are diagnosed every year with chlamidya and gonnoreha sit among the most common infection. American teenagers are among the top group of new infections each year with almost 50 percent of them engaging in sexual behaviors as reported by the Centers for Disease Control.

The app’s special feature, according to Nussbaum who spoke with ABC News, encourages dating singles to go to the doctor for regular STD checks. Individuals who receive a negative screening test can ask their doctors to document their status onto the app for sharing with whomever they choose.

Skeptics aren’t convinced that this new app will in fact encourage safer sex practices. Alternatively, it may discourage them. “It can take months for HIV to show up on a test,” said Renee Williams in a statement to ABC News. Williams serves as the executive director of SAFE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to abstinence education. “So you can test negative today, go out on Friday night and have sex, and then get retested later and find out that you had HIV all along.”

The goal of the app is to encourage the conversation around safe sex and uncomfortable STD talks by harnessing technology to appeal to a tech-savvy generation. Technology aside, trading STD information isn’t quite as easy as trading Twitter handles. We’ll see how this goes over at parties.

Would you download the “Safe Bumping” app?

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8 Comments

  1. I agree with the concerns over this app being unable to communicate the true nature of a persons HIV status and the possible harmful impact of any misinterpretation. Even if HIV Status was written out of the app,the potential for the app, to be a peer accepted gauge on overall sexual health (inclusive of HIV) is another concern. As this and other Health status tools that are portable and instant evolve Perhaps Prevention can explore ways to message directly on the topic of app’s and electronic records. I do really see a future for this type of application but I do not think it is a do it all STD tool and perhaps there shouldn’t be one.I have a personal concern that it is important to promote and develop open conversation on STI’s and swiping an app falls short of that. I wounder how a tool like this would work where a drug resistant STD out break was in progress and it was applied through a high risk group in combination with strong Public Health messaging?

  2. its not practical…no one is going to willingly share that information.

  3. @TIBW: If someone’s not willing to share that information with me, then they’re not getting laid by me. Simple as that. I would totally download this app, if I had a phone that supported it.

    It’s this whole “Stop talking about that, no one wants to talk about that” attitude that contributes to the spread of such diseases in the first place. Having an STD should be no more shameful than having a cold – sure, the symptoms may be embarrassing at times, but sooner or later they’ll subside and you can live like a normal person again.

    I think this app is a great step towards encouraging dialogue on safer sex, and in turn promoting safer sex. I’m for it.

  4. Come on people! Just use a condom! Who in the world is still having unprotected sex these days!!

  5. I think it’s helpful, I know people that keep copies of their doctors reports with them. If two ppl are actively getting tested then they wouldn’t have a problem talking about it or using an app.

  6. What’s to stop a person who knows that they have an STD from using this app to say that they DON’T? Can only a doctor change a status? Also, is it like Grindr/Blendr, where it shows how far away someone is in your neighborhood, showing a profile of their other aspects, as well as their STD status?

  7. I’m so tired of seeing African American used to advertise STD! you never see blacks portrayed in a positive light as much as negative. This media lynching needs to stop!

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