STDs have reached an all-time high in the U.S. (CDC: 2016 STD Surveillance Report), with over 20 million new infections reported last year. STDs are especially rampant among young people, with new HIV infections among teen girls increasing 24% since 2014. In fact, over half of all STD infections last year were young people ages 15 to 24.
1 in 5 Americans are currently infected with a chronic/incurable sexually transmitted disease. Even scarier, some reports indicate that 40% of men and 50% of women could be infected with a chronic STD by 2020.
The SAFE App offers a simple, practical solution to end this STD epidemic. Unlike current public health strategies, SAFE’s approach creates a real-world reason for people to get tested on a regular basis–not because they are told it is the right thing to do, but rather because it is in their personal self-interest to do so. SAFE will save millions of lives, help millions more avoid the life-altering consequences of STDs (infertility, cancer, and passing the infection onto children), and improve awareness and education around sexual health for this, and future, generations. On a broader level, SAFE provides a solution to the lack of interoperability in the healthcare industry, allowing users to access their personal healthcare information regardless of provider or plan.
There are 110 million sexually active people in the U.S., 50 million of them log in to at least one dating app every day. In 2016, STD rates in the US reached an all-time high, until the record was broken again in 2017 and 2018. More than 300,000 people in California alone were diagnosed with syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia last year, a 45% increase over five years, according to the LA Times.
With the US Government redirecting reproductive health services, access to sexual health education, prophylactics, and inexpensive (or free) STD testing has dropped significantly. As pathways to STD testing and sexual wellness programs dwindle, sexually active citizens young and old face an increased risk of STD exposure. Private insurance programs become more expensive, as do the costs associated with testing and reporting lab work.
SAFE launched at an ideal time, into a social ecosystem that has dwindling resources, through a medium that everyone understands and most likely already owns—the mobile device. Springing from the need to have equal access to testing, information, and sexual wellness support, SAFE democratizes access to quick, private, and readily available STD testing through its SAFE App, SAFE Health, and the SAFE Movement.