Planned Parenthood recently launched a new mobile app through which users can order chlamydia and gonorrhea tests to be mailed to their homes in Santa Barbara. If a user tests positive, he or she can then request treatment either through the app or at a Planned Parenthood facility.
The app is called Planned Parenthood Direct and charges $149 per testing kit, which can be paid by credit or debit card. Each kit, with instructions for use, is delivered in discreet packaging to protect user privacy. Urine samples must be mailed back to the local Planned Parenthood laboratory to be tested. Once the lab is finished, the clinic delivers confidential results to each user through the app, along with guidelines for treatment in the case of a positive result. Planned Parenthood president and CEO Jenna Tosh has called the new practice “confidential, nonjudgmental reproductive health care in the privacy of your own home.”
This confidential option could make a substantial difference for the 37,000 women, men, and teenagers who reportedly visit the Planned Parenthood centers in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties each year. In 2014, Santa Barbara County saw an 8 percent increase in chlamydia cases and a whopping 77 percent increase in gonorrhea cases from the previous year, according to figures from the county health department.
Given the burgeoning student population in Isla Vista, an unincorporated area of the county, it is unsurprising that 20- to 24-year-olds comprise a good portion of those who test positive each year. A complete report is not yet available for 2014, but in 2013 that age demographic made up 45 percent of total reported cases.