South By Southwest, also known as SXSW, is an annual technology conference as well as a film and music festival based in Austin, Texas each March. Organizers say the event attracts as many as 32,000 people every year. Laptop Magazine and The Austin Business Journal report that SXSW has become much more in recent years. The news sources state that the event is a spring break for those who love technology, complete with social events, partying and lots of sex.
This reputation may be behind the recent push by the website Qpid.me to target SXSW attendees. According to the Austin Business Journal, the website recently released a statement promoting its mobile application to be used at SXSW. It stated that Qpid.me is a free website for people who want to privately share their verified sexually transmitted disease test results with anyone via text message or online.
SXSW conference-goers can take advantage of the free website while deciding whether to have sex with someone they meet there, and health experts state that websites like Qpid.me may be valuable in educating people about the risk of contracting an STD anywhere.
How it works
Individuals over the age of 13 can log on to the website and create a request for their STD test results to be sent to anyone via text message or email.
"We've generally been taught to keep this information very private, and this represents a paradigm shift," Qpid.me CEO Ramin Bastani told The Huffington Post. "We think the shareability of that information - verified information - is absolutely critical."
The site can verify an individual's HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and hepatitis C antibody status. It will also confirm if he or she has received the HPV and hepatitis A vaccines. However, it does not include HPV and herpes status.
Young adults are at an increased risk for many STDs
The website may be a great tool in the fight against stopping the spread of STDs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 account for almost half of the 19 million new cases of STDs reported each year. This age group is the fastest growing population contracting STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Additionally, young adults are also believed to be more "technologically savvy" than many older Americans. The Pew Research Center reports that 93 percent of those between the ages of 12 and 29 go online, compared to 74 percent of Americans over the age of 18.