A new app called Biem is looking to make STD testing easier and, perhaps more importantly, the results of those tests more easily shared.
“There are several barriers that often prevent people from getting medical attention in this area,” [Co-founder Bryan] Stacy explained. “First, there are the practical barriers: the inconvenience of having to set up an appointment, possibly leave work or school, and actually go to doctor, which can be a challenge for many. Then there are emotional barriers, such as the paralyzing anxiety that people often feel, as I did, when they’re worried about their health, or dreading awkward conversations with doctors.”
“And, of course, there’s also social stigma involved–it could be stigma about the results, but also a moral stigma which drives people to ask, ‘What have you been doing? Why do you need testing?'”
He continued, “We want to empower people, make them proud of getting tested, and make that become the norm.”
It will be interesting to see whether convenience can overcome the stigma of STD testing.