New App Lets You Tell Ex-Partners They Have An STD Anonymously

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By Andrea Downey | 12:26 pm, April 27, 2017

People who are worried they may have given their previous partners an STI can now let them know anonymously.

Virgin Care sexual health service in the United Kingdom is launching a pilot texting service that they hope will stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

All patients at Virgin Care’s Oldham, Bury and Rochdale and Teesside clinics need to do is provide phone numbers or email addresses for previous partners and the health service takes care of the rest.

Virgin Care and SXT, a sexual health service database, will then send a message to the partners letting them know they are at risk of an infection and need to be tested.

The text will contain a link to a nearby sexual health clinic where they can book an appointment and seek advice.

They will also be given a unique code which can be used on the SXT website that will give them more information on the infections they are at risk of.

Virgin Care is a private healthcare service that is commissioned by local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) made up of GPs or the NHS to run healthcare services.

The services in Oldham, Bury and Rochdale and Teesside are free to attend for anyone on the NHS.

Michala Geldard, a senior nurse at Virgin Care’s Rochdale sexual health service, said: “Notifying partners has always been an important part of the battle against the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

“This new tool is faster and potentially more effective way of ensuring people who are at risk get themselves tested, and don’t end up passing infections on.

“It’s hoped the opportunity to add further partners using a private online system from the comfort of home will mean people who test positive will feel more confident at notifying everyone they have had sexual contact with.”

The pilot will be tested over a three-month period before a decision is made to extend it to other areas.

Experts have previously warned that a sexual disease epidemic is looming as cases of antibiotic-resistant STIs rise.

Doctors have been urged to take action to ensure they prescribe only the right drugs in the correct doses, in a bid to stem a potential wave of super-STIs.

It’s estimated that each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million catch gonorrhea and 5.6 million are diagnosed with syphilis.

More than one million people contract an STI every single day, according to the World Health Organization.

Paul Casey, head of training and programs at the sexual health charity FPA, said; “Partner notification has an important role to play in reducing rates of sexually transmitted infections.

“Whether it’s done through paper or digital, the person who is notifying their partners always has the option to be anonymous.

“There will always be people who choose not to act on the notification, whatever the format, and just because the person notifying their partners stays anonymous doesn’t mean the text or email will come from an anonymous source, although it may be an unfamiliar one.

“The advantage of sending notifications through text and email is that it gives the receiver an instant link to services that can help them get tested and get treatment if they need it.

“Getting tested is nothing to be worried about, it’s usually quick and painless – and it means that if you have an STI you can get the treatment you need and not pass the infection on to anyone else.”

This article was originally published in The Sun.

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