What would be your reaction if you get a text from a random number saying that you might have got STD from your partner and you should get yourself checked? You might get angry or panic at that situation but definitely, do not ignore it.
The reason is a number of online services are allowing people who have been tested positive for a sexually transmitted infection to notify their former partners about it anonymously.
These messages might seem to be confusing to the one receiving but experts believe that it will help in slowing down the spread of the disease.
In a study of 5000 people, the World Health Organization found that the use of anonymous notification services for those who tested positive for HIV led to a 1.5-fold increase in screenings. They 'strongly' recommend such programs and wish them to be introduced to HIV care and testing worldwide.
However, it is to be noted that these services have been around for many years, but possibly remained in the shadows because even today people in the US are still uncomfortable talking about sexual health and practices, Daily Mail reported.
The best thing about the process is, the person can just go online enter the number of the person they would like to notify, click the send button and it will be done.
There are various sites like STDcheck.com, dontspreadit.com, bettertoknow.org, and checkhimout.com, which can help you with it.
Medical data of the person is strictly protected by laws in the US, so one need not worry about it. Moreover, the services are not monitored. So, anyone can notify their partner without any fear.
However, Nicole Cushman, executive director of sexual education organization Answer -- an extension of Rutgers University in New Jersey, says that she doubts that the service is often used for pranks.
She told Daily Mail that she hasn't heard of these services "being spam or anything shady" but doubts about it as prank calling people to notify them of their STD status became a bit of a trend after the movie Mean Girls.
Cushman believes that there are 'pros and cons' to the service, but the 'imperfect system' is certainly helpful 'from a public health perspective.