AirTalk for January 16, 2013

Safe Sex Smartphone App

Corey Moore/KPCC

There's already mobile STD testing, now STD test results can be shared with potential partners via your mobile phone.

There is a long, if not distinguished, tradition of truth manipulation in romantic pursuit. On the innocent end of the spectrum, one might offer to pay for a dinner or three that might normally not fit within that person’s budget. On the more consequential side of the spectrum, one might lie, or at minimum, maintain a willful silence about their sexual health with a potential mate.

The future, however, may involve a much more candid sexual health disclosure between partners, thanks to smartphone apps like MedXCom. The app provides a service where doctor-approved test results and medical records are verifiable via smartphone. Scoundrels beware.

But does this create a slippery slope towards a world with no medical privacy? Will the tech-savvy jerks of the future be able to completely subvert services like these, and legitimately endanger the sexual health of others? Is this progress, or an electronic toy attempting to take the place of real, mature communication many consider essential for healthy sex?


Tracy Clark-Flory, writer for who has written about the mobile app MedXCom.

Gail Wyatt, professor of psychiatry, the Associate Director of the AIDS Institute, and Director of the Sexual Health Program at UCLA.

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