If you need a test to find out if you have syphilis or some other sexually transmitted disease (STD), an embarrassingly large number of people will find out about it. That’s one reason Biem is today introducing a mobile app that it says will encourage more sexual health testing and information sharing.

Biem said it “eradicates opportunities for inaction by easily and discreetly allowing users to talk one-on-one with sexual health care providers, get tested from home (with FDA-approved testing policies), receive secure results directly to their phones, and seamlessly show verified results to sexual partners.” The app is launching today in a limited way in New York City. It is rolling out in a controlled area to ensure the quality of its network with live caregivers.

App users can also receive anonymous notifications if someone they’ve connected with on the app tests positive for an STD within the next six months.

More Americans are putting off medical care than ever before, while at the same time, STD rates in the U.S. are at an all-time high. Biem is a response to this growing problem. It was founded with the aim of eliminating the awkwardness, shame, and inconvenience that prevents people from getting tested and talking to their sexual partners about health and STDs. The platform offers a fact-based option and is aimed at merging convenience with personalized care.

Biem is a mobile app that maintains end-to-end control over the process, ensuring an efficient, empathetic, and judgement-free experience. By hand-picking specialists who share Biem’s passion for dissolving sexual health stigmas and providing comprehensive care, Biem has built a team devoted to one purpose: making it easy and painless for users to seek out information about sexual health concerns and take action, as needed.

Above: Biem encourages sexual health testing.

Image Credit: Biem

Biem does not require a subscription to use. In order to comply with medical regulations, users must see one of Biem’s health care providers via video chat prior to getting tested. The cost for this session is $45. Once the session is complete, the patient will get tested through one of Biem’s lab partners, which accept most insurance plans. If a user would prefer to get tested at home, there is an additional cost of $45. Results can be securely sent to the user’s Biem app two or three days later.

Bryan Stacy, Biem’s founder and CEO, developed the concept after being diagnosed with chlamydia and testicular cancer at the same time.

“Five years ago, I felt a pain in my left testicle. I was scared, didn’t know who to turn to, and rationalized that it would go away. It didn’t, and when I finally got checked, I was diagnosed with both testicular cancer and chlamydia on the same day. I asked a urologist friend for help, and it turns out that the shame and fear I felt wasn’t unique to me. Sexual health anxiety is universal, yet never talked about, especially when it comes to STDs.”

Stacey founded Biem with the goal of eradicating the stigmas that surround sexual health and empowering people to take action. False assumptions, misunderstood facts, and debilitating fears result in a reluctance to seek information. Through an information-forward approach, Biem proves that being armed with information is preferable to living in fear.

“I realized that the worst part of the entire experience was the two-month period before I was diagnosed — the time during which I felt something was wrong, but rationalized it away,” said Stacy, in a statement about the inspiration behind Biem. “I knew I had to eliminate the barriers that keep people in this damaging loop.”

New York-based Biem was founded in March 2016 and has six full-time people. It has been bootstrapped so far.

Above: Uh oh. Todd has a sexual health problem.

Image Credit: Biem