It’s important for both potential and current sexual partners to be able to give informed consent to participating in sexual acts, which includes, among other things, knowledge about one’s STI status. STIs like herpes are much more prevalent than they are assumed to be, and due to the stigma surrounding having an STI, it’s often difficult to even initiate a conversation about getting tested.
That’s why I was pleased to learn about the website, FindTheBest, which allows you to compare STI testing clinics using a set of filters and factors. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to assume that the only places to get tested at are a doctor’s office, which is not true at all. I played around with the website’s comparison tool, and I thought it was pretty neat. It lets you select STI clinics to compare, and then it lists them side-by-side so you can look at their hours of business, their prices, which STIs they test for, and so on.
I would, however, advise that users follow up on the services provided by contacting each clinic by phone. I looked at some of the clinics local to me in Indianapolis, and saw that not every clinic has all of its services listed correctly (the Bellflower Clinic, for instance, which is both centrally located and very affordable, offers much more than HIV testing, including herpes testing, which can sometimes be difficult to find). This is a minor grain-of-salt issue, though; overall I’m glad that there are services like this one that make it easy for people to bypass stigma by accessing information about how to get tested.