Washington DC: A team of researchers has come up with an app that can help reduce the sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates among women.
The Johns Hopkins researchers said that the online "pop quiz" they developed in 2009 shows promising accuracy in predicting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in young women, although not, apparently, in young men.
A description of the quiz and some field test results suggest the self-administered quiz may encourage teenage girls and young women to get laboratory tests for several STIs if their quiz results show them to be at high risk for infection. And if used in clinical settings, the online questions could help physicians assess the need for STI testing of those patients at most risk, the researchers say.
Lead author Charlotte Gaydos said that they test a lot of people who are not infected, and although a tool like this might not predict every single case, they think it can be helpful in rapidly predicting the likelihood of an STI for physicians and patients.
The quiz is a simple, six-question survey designed to evaluate behaviors linked to STI risk, Gaydos says. It was developed with the help of specialists in adolescent sexual health care and data from previously published research. The questions ask about the number of sex partners, the frequency of use of condoms, and the age and past infection status of a respondent.
The study is published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.