One of the biggest problems that young people have when it comes to sexual health is getting access to preventive sexual health tools and the etiquette of introducing these sexual health tools to potential partners. Because of the stigma attached to sexually transmitted infections in Nigeria, in many LGBT circles, even the suggestion of going with a potential partner to a testing facility to screen for STIs before intercourse is considered as either an indirect insinuation that the partner in question is already infected or a direct accusation.
The stigma of being outed and ostracised from the community and the fear of a potential infection being discovered in the presence of a relative stranger often further disinclines young people from going this route. And until now, self testing was a pipe dream, often complicated and eventually defeating.
This is why the work that the good people at Slide Safe NG are doing is not only timely, it is vital. The sexual health startup allows young people discreetly access home testing kits for couples and health conscious sexually active people. The average Slide Safe kit (which contains a HIV1 and HIV2 test and condoms) costs about 1500 naira, which is pretty much the same amount good condoms and lubricants will set back a person.
Their more extensive kits cover other STIs like Hepatitis and Herpes as well as condoms and lubricant in case the couples do decide to engage in intercourse after the test is done.
This is important work and hopefully Slide Safe will expand their service to include counselling for potential users who end up finding out this way that they have an STI.
To find out more, you can give their website a spin here.