Rapid tests, safer sex!

Can a thirty minute test save your life?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Doctors need fast and reliable tests to diagnose sexually transmitted infections, or STIs. Since 20-19, methods for rapid S-T-I detection haven’t been sensitive or fast enough.  How can we test AND diagnose patients within the same visit?

Dr. Sheldon Morris from UC San Diego and colleagues explored a newer, faster STI test. It’s called the Visby Medical Sexual Health Test. 

Over fifteen-hundred women self-collected vaginal swabs for testing with Visby. Their samples were also tested using already established STI tests for comparisons. How did Visby fare?

Visby produced correct diagnoses over NINETY EIGHT percent of the time and only took THIRTY minutes. Now THAT’S speedy! 

This means that Visby could become an efficient self-administered test to rapidly diagnose STIs. In thirty minutes… or your pizza’s free!


Morris, Sheldon R, Claire C Bristow, Michael R Wierzbicki, Mark Sarno, Lenore Asbel, Audrey French, Charlotte A Gaydos, et al. “Performance of a Single-Use, Rapid, Point-of-Care PCR Device for the Detection of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia Trachomatis, and Trichomonas Vaginalis: A Cross-Sectional Study.” The Lancet Infectious Diseases 21, no. 5 (May 2021): 668–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30734-9.