A NEW way to screen for STIs without needing to visit a GP has just been launched in Australia.
SmartSex, an Australian-first available across select locations in NSW and the ACT, is a fast, convenient and discreet service that notifies users of their results by SMS within two business days.
Residents can access the service by visiting the website and entering their postcode.
The purpose of the service is to cater to those who find it difficult to discuss their sexual health with healthcare professionals, leaving many living undiagnosed with STIs and other sexual health issues.
Sydney-based GP and chief medical officer of the Independent Practitioners Network Dr Ged Foley said the services helps break down stigma.
“De-stigmatising and improved access to STI testing is a goal shared by many in the healthcare industry, so any tool that enables and motivates patients to get tested should be welcomed,” he said.
“If SmartSex customers feel more comfortable ordering pathology screening for STIs online and, as a result are diagnosed and/or tested regularly, then it’s a win-win for everyone.
“A doctor gets involved when a customer gets a positive result, so the fundamental role of the medical professional in counselling, treating and managing STIs is pivotal.”
More than 26,000 new cases of STIs were diagnosed last year in NSW, according to the Department of Health, which also estimates that thousands more remain undiagnosed. Although prevalent among people in their 20s and 30s, people of all ages and relationship status are affected by STIs.