The National Health Service in the London Borough of Hounslow, in an effort to coax young people into getting tested, is offering free self-service STD kits, with an added bonus: text message diagnosis!.
After sending off your little envelope of chlamydia ‘n’ hope to a lab, you can opt to receive your potentially traumatic results via SMS, phone or letter (though Twitter, with its convenient-for-notifying-exes “@” system, might have been a better choice).
Despite how trivialising this sounds, it could actually be an attractive option for some. Phone calls involve direct interaction with another person about an extremely embarrassing subject, and a physical letter can take quite a while—again, not exactly appropriate for the, uhh, urgent nature of the situation. Here, technology might actually make the whole process a little less intimidating for young folk (philanderers and strumpets, every last one of them!), but it’s not a totally shame-free—the NHS has assured that there are still actual humans sending out the texts. [Register]