Online STI service offers testing, anonymity, and video chats with real doctors.
Ignorance, one of the greatest impediments to having a healthy, and therefore happy, sex life may be on the way out, thanks to a new app called Biem.
Anonymous STI testing
For many people, talking about sexuality with their physician is simply too uncomfortable. So they often suffer from shame as well as ignorance. But with Biem, they can now communicate and get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with complete anonymity.
Biem founder and CEO Bryan Stacy was inspired to create the app after being diagnosed with testicular cancer and chlamydia. He told Out: “I realized that the worst part of the entire experience was the two-month period before I was diagnosed—the time during which I felt something was wrong, but rationalized it away.”
At first he was unwilling to seek a professional consultation. “I knew I had to eliminate the barriers that keep people in this damaging loop.”
Beginning with a video chat
To use Biem, users must first download the app, which is free on both iOS and Android. Then they engage in a video consultation with one of Biem’s physicians.
This initial doctor chat costs $45, which Biem points out is often the cost of a co-payment. Afterward, the user has the option to either go to a nearby lab or have STI testing materials mailed directly to them for an additional $45.
Biem tests for a range of STIs, including HIV, herpes, hepatitis C and A, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Without insurance, a full range of tests cost approximately $400. For only chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and HIV, it is $200.
Then comes the results the knowledge
After the testing process, the results are confidentially sent to the user’s smartphone (and their partner, if they wish), via a unique code.
Stacy put it well, saying that Biem uses the Internet’s power of anonymity to help people overcome sexual ignorance. This could be an important step toward eliminating “the awkwardness, shame, and inconvenience that prevents people from getting tested and talking to their sexual partners about health and STDs.”
Image source: Biem