A British pharmacy has created a calculator that lets individuals compute how many others they've had "indirect" sexual contact with.
According to Lloyd's Pharmacy, the calculator is based on the idea of six degrees of separation. In other words, everyone is just six connections away from everyone else on the planet.
This premise led them to develop the "Sex Degrees of Separation" calculator. By answering a few simple questions about yourself and your sexual history, the tool will tell you how many people you've indirectly had sex with.
For instance, Yahoo reported that a person who has had sex with eight people is linked sexually to as many as 2.8 million others.
The information provides individuals with a simple way to understand how sexually transmitted diseases are spread. After all, if one person has an untreated STD, they are not only risking their own health, but the sexual health of anyone who they have sex with as well as anyone those individuals have sex with afterward.
Tools like this one may also help encourage individuals to practice safe sex by using condoms consistently and correctly, as experts advise. Additionally, knowing the number of other people one has had indirect sexual contact with may cause more people to undergo STD testing.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently called STD infection rates an epidemic. According to the government agency, nearly 20 million new STDs occur every year in the U.S., half among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. In addition, it's believed that undiagnosed STDs cause as many as 24,000 women to become infertile each year.
The most common STDs in young people are gonorrhea and chlamydia. While these and other STDs affect females and males, females face the most serious long-term effects of the infections.