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Sharing news with a partner or former partner about an STD can be difficult, but it is the responsible thing to do. New anonymous online services allow people to tell past sexual partners if they have tested positive for an STD. But is this a good idea?
The services text individuals that one of their previous partners has tested positive for an STD and recommends that the person also gets tested.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says he worries about people being pranked with services like this. He also questions how these services only tell the recipient that it was an STD and does not specify which STD they might have been exposed to.
"To me, there's too much opportunity for misuse," he says, explaining that he feels there is a big difference between being exposed to HIV or something like chlamydia. Adding, "They should at least give a little more information."
The Doctors say they like that information is being shared but would like to see improvements made to these services. Dr. Travis suggests that possibly clinic or healthcare professionals be put in charge with sharing the news with people's past partners.