Scientists are coming up with increasingly drastic — and possibly brilliant — ways to combat STDs. Their latest ploy involves putting urine… in your cell phone. Strangely enough, it just might work:
The self-testing devices are aimed at technology-savvy young people. Public health experts are concerned that, although most STIs occur among that age group, many are too embarrassed to visit a GP…
People who suspect they have been infected will be able to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes, telling them which, if any, sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have. Seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have put £4m into developing the technology via a forum called the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. [The Guardian]
Yesterday, I mentioned the last desperate attempts by abstinence-only supporters in Britain. It's clear they aren't helping: abstinence education does little to deter STDs, which are becoming more and more prevalent among young people: the Guardian mentions that "two-thirds of women reporting a new STI were under 25, as were more than half of men."
Will an iPhone app for testing STIs/STDs be an effective tool for slowing the spread of disease or will most people simply ignore the chip for the same reasons they avoid testing centers?