Safe sex? There's an app for that

It lets you "bump" phones to swap test results and protect against STDs -- but what about your privacy?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
January 16, 2013 12:23AM (UTC)
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(phildate via iStock)

Being exceptionally smart and informed readers, I know you all must exchange doctor-certified proof of your STD status before hopping into bed with a new partner. What's that you say? No? You rely on your partner's word?

Well, of course you do. It can be difficult enough to bring up the STD conversation in the first place, and bringing paperwork into bed doesn't do much to ignite the mood. It's also highly impractical: How many of us hit the town on a Friday night with test results folded up in our wallet or stuffed in our purse? Besides, in the age of Foursquare check-ins at STD clinics, the idea seems downright absurd.


Now technology has closed the gap in the form of a new app, MedXSafe. You get tested and then your doctor vouches via the service that you're STD free. Next time you find things heating up, you can "bump" phones with your partner to share the proof of your negative test, which provides copious opportunities for corny come-ons -- say, "Before we bump uglies, let's bump phones." (You can have that one for free. You're welcome.)

Keep in mind, the usual STD-test caveats apply here: Just because a partner tested negative on Monday doesn't mean that they didn't contract something by Friday, and people can get false negatives.

This all might reasonably raise Big Brother-y fears, but the company behind the app says the data is "encrypted end-to-end" and that you alone are in charge of who sees your information. Plus, the service never shares positive results, only negative results. Still, I fully expect to one day tell my awed children, "I know it's hard to believe, but back in my day we didn't have a database of potential dates' STD status, sexual performance reviews and DNA analysis."

Tracy Clark-Flory

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