At the 2016 AIDS Conference, Prince Harry recently addressed a crowd of young people: “It is time for a new generation of leaders to step forward. It is time for us to step up, to make sure no young person feels any shame in asking for an HIV test.” That’s just what we’re doing at myLAB Box. This past week, myLAB Box began empowering minors as young as 16 years of age to take control of their own sexual health.
STD Testing for Minors
Teenagers want to be safe, and they understand that poor decisions in the bedroom can have lifelong repercussions. A recent story from NPR showed that today’s teenagers are much more responsible than many give them credit for. Thanks to increased education and awareness of contraception, there has been a stark drop in teen pregnancies. This isn’t only because kids aren’t having sex. Quite the contrary: they’re just having smarter sex!
Minors Are Having Smarter Sex
Young people have clearly gotten the message about condoms and birth control. Now we just need to expand their idea of “safe sex” so that it includes regular STD screenings. We live in an age in which technology is transforming our lives so rapidly. Unfortunately, perceptions around STIs and sexual health, and the services that address them, have been stagnant for decades. It is time for a change.
At myLAB Box, we are taking a stand against the stigma of testing so that new generations can be empowered to live healthier lives. Similar to contraception, in order to make routine STD testing a regular part of young adults’ sexual health, education is critical.
Many STDs don’t show any visible symptoms, so many people don’t see a need to make an embarrassing visit to a clinic. Then there are common misconceptions such as “wearing a condom will totally block any and all STDS” or “oral sex is safe because there isn’t a risk of infection.” Additionally, many people that do get tested often only do so once, wrongly assuming that testing is a one-and-done affair. Clearly, this is a recipe for the spread of infections.
Even if young adults understand why regular testing is good for them, that’s not all that counts. Unfortunately, many teens (and let’s face it: adults, too) are too nervous about visiting a clinic. There’s a stigma attached to getting tested.
Dispelling Common Misconceptions About Sex
Other common misconceptions such as that “condoms prevent all STDs” or that “oral sex means no infection risk” are also important to dispel.
The ability for sexually-active young adults to privately perform screenings on a regular basis, quickly and reliably from the comfort of home, will help save lives and empower positive sexual health habits to last a lifetime. Even more importantly, having access to free and convenient physician consultations with no extra co-pays or cost in the event one tests positive, ensures more adults will seek and receive much-needed treatment for their infections.
myLAB Box is the testing service for the new generation. We are proud to be creating a way for millennials to live better and healthier lives.