The need for expanded STD testing hours

I recently read a very well done article about HIV in the Tennessean newspaper. It’s quite shocking to think that we have HIV rates increasing in young people today. With all of the prevention options, we are not seeing the amount of new infection decrease, but actually increase in people 15 – 24 years old. I think one of the ways of reversing this trend is to have expanded STD testing hours in the major cities.

I would like to see mobile STD clinics around town the bar crawl areas, and make STD testing more available to people. If there were mobile units setup and people could pop in on a friday night and get a full STD screening, it would make the world a safer place. I envision a system where you can go in, get a quick blood or urine test or whatever is necessary,  and be given a card with a unique identifier number.

STD Clinic Bussines_Hours not convenient

STD clinic bussines hours - not convenient

This may be a very popular thing, that needs a good amount of staffing. If people could get a card and verify with possible hookups that they have had a test I think people would do this quite a bit as an avenue for increasing the odds of getting intimate with someone new.  I’d like to see a system where you or your sex interest could phone in, enter in a ID number, and then the system would ask you a few questions, and then provide the details of the test. Maybe provide a positive or negative for STDs with one ID number, and the patient themselves can call in and get the full results.

I imagine there would be many different ways to deploy a system like this. It would be great to have a phone system that would let you punch a few buttons to get more information about certain STDs, and answer some common misconceptions about STD like “you can’t get STDs from oral sex” or something. It would be great if the people in this state would join together and say “add more funding and services to our STD testing facilities. Last I read, Nashville cut their health department budgets by 5%, so I am doubting there is extra money there for adding a mobile testing unit, with some new phone technology, and staff to take blood and run tests to work an extra three nights a week until 3am.

Maybe the people will see this as a major benefit that is sorely needed and things will change. Certainly it’s easier and cheaper to prevent the new drug resistant HIV from spreading, (amongst other currently incurable diseases such as HPV and Herpes), than it is to have to treat these and other illnesses. The main problem I see that that access to the testing it not convenient, nor cool.

I guess it is an opportunity for a big company like durex to sponsor mobile STD tests in cities during weekend night hours. I am not sure what would be involved in having what kind of licensed people for doing the tests and what kind of equipment is needed to actually do the lab work, but if something could be brought together to make it happen, I would be happy to help in some way.

So, if someone donates a tour bus, and someone else donates some condoms, we would need the nurses, lab techs, some counselors perhaps, an advanced phone system and computer system. I am guessing many more things, but it’s a start to throw some ideas out there.

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