September 2nd, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Foursquare offers badge for STD testing

Social networking on phones has gotten competitive with Foursquare, a tool that lets people "check in" at the locations they visit. The reward for frequent visits to a single place is the "mayor" title - which leads to colleagues vying to be mayor of the office parking lot and restaurant patrons trying to score discounts reserved for mayors.

Now there's another distinction you can earn in Foursquare: a badge for getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases. The initiative is part of It's Your (Sex) Life, a partnership between MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation to promote sexual health responsibility in young people.

The new campaign is called Get Yourself Tested. Its website offers a wealth of information about STDs and how you can get tested, as well as additional resources. You can enter your ZIP code on the website to find a convenient local testing center.

To "unlock" the badge, you just have to check in on Foursquare from the health care provider where you're getting the STD test anytime in September. Once you have the badge, you're entered to win a trip for two to the MTV Studios in New York City, and attend a taping of the show "10 on Top."

The campaign website also has a discussion board where young people can talk about issues such as teen pregnancy and STD testing.

Other unrelated merit badges on Foursquare include "adventurer," "explorer" and "superstar," which reward people who check in at multiple different locations. There's also "crunked," for those who check in at many places in one night.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. scott

    It sounds like it would be pretty useful for hooking up. You go hang out where the STD free people are and you can have unprotected sex with no worries.

    I guess that makes sense right?

    September 2, 2010 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clayton

      What does hooking up have to do with it? You can get an STI just from one partner if you "waited" or stayed loyal to that person. It makes sense to be responsible for your sexual health. Considering most STIs don't show any immediate symptoms, people assume they don't have anything since they don't show any of the signs. 2/3 of the STIs spread are from people younger than 25, I'm guessing many healthcare providers want to lower that number with awareness of STIs since most parents don't teach their children well enough about it. Don't be an idiot on the subject Scott....

      September 2, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • Peanut

      This "badge" can be misused to give a false sense of STD free and encourage young people to have unprotected sex.

      September 3, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      @Clayton. First off, do you always say mean things to other people? If you don't agree, do it nicely, act like a person with manners. Because you and everyone else is anonymous online is no reason for people to act the way they do on these message boards.

      Anyway, my point was one of sarcasm. I know I shouldn't have tried to be sarcastic in a message post, but I tried anyway. @Peanut actually got my point. Let's say you are going out and you want to have some unprotected sex. Do you go where there are a bunch of STD free people? If you are planning on having unprotected sex, you aren't thinking smartly to begin with and with that in mind, I say the people will go where there are a bunch of STD free people.

      September 3, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
  2. Nursehope

    Clayton...don't be an Eeyore: getting rewarded and positively reinforced for being tested is powerful medicine. Facts are parents don't teach biology and the right wing school systems preaching abstinence are in fact preaching ignorance. Great news for our youth and a wonderful program!

    September 2, 2010 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Frank

    Well, i wouldn't want to become a mayor from a place where you can get an STD test, wouldn't that give away that you have a lot of sex with different people?? LOL

    September 2, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • krysie

      thats exactly what I was thinking!!!!!!

      September 3, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
  4. bob

    That's how John MacAffee started out; selling "aids free" IDs in L.A. Of course the testing was only good until the next time the ID holder had sex. CA made him shut down for that reason. Then he went into the computer virus scanner business.

    September 2, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Young Sinatra

    I LOVE this idea. Lets take it to the next level! You should be able to get an S.T.D. FREE badge put on ANY cell phone by an approved doctor or clinic. Then You could at LEAST show at THIS date and time I was S.T.D. FREE. It's a lot better than NOTHING.

    September 2, 2010 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mamatat

    There is no such thing as STI free. There IS such a thing as "symptom free", but no one is ever 100% safe when having safe sex.

    Frank, it's not the number of people with which one has sex; it's whom one chooses. I suggest you choose wisely, even if it's one person, rather than "a lot of sex with different people". To think that reducing quantity is a sure-fire method is right up there with believing that oral sex is ok, that withdrawl is an effective form of protection against pregnancy and STI's, or that testing should not happen again when a person begins having sex (even only oral, even only anal) with a new partner.

    Foursquare scored big bonus points by opening the door for more folks to learn accurate sex ed (as adults) and be safe.

    September 3, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. abcdef54321

    I've read that it takes about six months from the time you are infected with the AIDS virus until you test positive for AIDS. During those six months you can transmit the disease to others. So, getting a negative result from an AIDS test only proves that you didn't have AIDS six months ago. Getting tested is still a good thing to do, but it doesn't give you a license for unprotected sex.

    September 3, 2010 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jp

      great point...i work inside and AIDS clinic...as a matter of fact the physicians instruct the pts who have tested negative not to have sexual encounters until they have a confirmatory HIV test in 6 months.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
  8. Jack

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither FORNICATORS, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)

    September 3, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BobEar

      Neither will you Jack.

      September 3, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
    • krysie

      blah blah blah... bigotry is awesome! I drink and have premarital sex.. guess i'm goin to hell ! who's comin with me!!!!!!!!!!

      September 3, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
  9. STD Testing Expert

    This is a great idea for those who support the educating people on the benefits of frequent STD Testing, but I'm not so sure that the stigma surrounding STDs can be so quickly. I do hope more individual become aware of getting tested for STDs because of this though. For now, we choose to promote more private alternatives like online testing sites.

    See getSTDtested.com for a great example of these new services.


    September 16, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mike

    If you don't want to go to a clinic and wish to get tested anonymously call 888-306-0482 these people are very nice and can answer all your questions and can provide you with a test to suit you and best of all you don't have to wait in line or face anyone. You can also read up on a couple of good articles about testing and who should get tested at; http://getchecked4std.blogspot.com/

    March 26, 2011 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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