NEW YORK CITY – At the press of a button on your smartphone, a new app provides the easiest way to talk with a sexual healthcare professional, get tested for STDs, share results, and be notified if a person you have been with tests positive in the future.
In the U.S., 50% of people with a sexually transmitted disease don’t know they have one – often because most STDs display no symptoms at all. Additionally, people who are diagnosed with an STD fail to disclose their status to current or previous partners. The stigma surrounding getting tested for STDs can make people feel dirty, ashamed of themselves, or embarrassed. With 20 million new cases of STDs reported annually, something needs to change.
Enter biem (\beem\) – rhymes with the word team and stands for break in case of emergency. A digital telehealth platform, catering specifically to sexual health concerns, which powers the social movement working to end the stigma surrounding sexual health by encouraging sexual health transparency. What is sexual health transparency? The idea that people should be open and honest about their sexual health, without fear of judgment.
Here’s how biem works. First, the user answers a few basic questions about themselves. Then the user can schedule a video visit with a sexual healthcare provider. After the video visit, the user will choose to have a lab technician take samples in the comfort of their own home, or go to a nearby lab. Once labs are processed, the results will be sent to the app and users can choose to show their results to their partners, securely on their phone. Results cannot be sent to partners electronically. Multiple biem users also have the option to biem connect with one another and be notified if one their sexual partner(s) tests positive for any STD in the next 6 months.
The New York City-based startup can be exceptionally beneficial for those who use online dating apps. With the rise of new online dating apps, there is much concern about a possible rise of STDs. One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25 and more than half of all people will have an STD at some point in their life. Furthermore, the U.S. spends an estimated $16 billion in direct medical costs of STDs. With biem, users can be more proactive by getting tested, showing results, and being notified about potential STDs. Now you have proof in your pocket.
You can download the app from our website: www.biemteam.com