STD scare? Just take your phone to the loo...

As rates of STDs among young people in the UK continue to rise every year, health officials are developing a computer chip that can diagnose herpes, chlamydia, and more--within minutes.

Self-testing for STDs may soon be possible with just a cell phone, computer chip, and full bladder. CarbonNYC/Flickr

A friend of mine has a pre-teen daughter who recently asked if her mom had to wait for high school to get her first iPhone. Apparently the girl has no memories pre-2007.

Add to the "that is soo last year" list the ritual of going to a clinic to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Testing may soon require little more than a computer chip and a place to pee on one.

In an attempt to cut the UK's rising rates of herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, British health officials say that sexually-transmitted infections will soon be able to be diagnosed by placing urine or saliva on a computer chip, plugging it into their cell phones or computers, and getting results within minutes. Followed, presumably, by a desultory update on Facebook that may or may not be of interest to previous partners.

Seven sources, including the Medical Research Council, have pumped more than $6 million into the UK Clinical Research Collaboration to fund the project, according to The Guardian.

"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor," said Dr. Tariq Sadiq, a physician in sexual health and HIV at Saint George's University of London, who is leading the project. "It diagnoses whether you've got one of a range of STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, and tells you where to go next to get treatment."

No word on when exactly this tech will hit the streets, but I can see it already: the steamy first date at the club, sneaking off to the bathroom together and exchanging bodily fluids--first, of course, on computer chips, you know, just in case.

In the meantime, kids, a little tip: condoms can fit in your pockets, too, and they don't involve a monthly payment plan.

 

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