Same-day STD checks could be just around the corner
In an age where you can check your bank balance in a matter of seconds and communicate with someone halfway around the world at the tap of a button, it seems almost impossible that something as important as an STD check could take so long.
For most patients, getting the results back from a sexual health clinic can take weeks. If you're unsure or nervous about the process and what they may find, this can be an agonising amount of time.
It's possible that this delay could be putting people off from going to get themselves checked, as they know it can take a while and you have to abstain from sex until you get your results back.
However, now health provider Healthvana is trying to change this by bridging the gap between patients and sexual health experts.
Ramin Bastani, Chief Executive Officer of Healthvana, described the current process as feeling "like Windows '95".
The company has teamed up with Cepheid, a health diagnostics company, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to try and make same-day testing for STDs a reality.
Cepheid has launched an app that takes just 90 minutes to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea - two of the most prevalent STDs - and will be available from AHF clinics. Patients will then get a notification on their phone as soon as the results have come back and users can see instantly whether they are positive or negative.
The app will also deliver advice and guidance on what next steps to take, depending on what the tests have determined.
After running a pilot scheme in the UK, the group now plans to roll out the app across the US.
"We believe patients should get access to their results in real time, every time, and not just in a PDF where you don't know what anything is and you have to Google it ," said Mr Bastani. "It should be in layman's terms, tell you what the hell it means, and what you should do next."