Information about the STD Wizard
“Do I have an STD?” is a commonly asked question. And it is not uncommon to have an STD (sexually transmitted disease) and show no symptoms. The STD Wizard online quiz lets any user find out which tests, treatments, and vaccines are recommended, based on their personal risk factors. In a few minutes, a user gets an accurate STD risk assessment, based on the best scientific information. The STD Wizard also saves health care providers time and ensures the correct tests are ordered.
What is the scientific basis of the STD Wizard?
All the questions, recommendations, and logic in the STD Wizard are directly based on the 2010 STD Treatment Guidelines, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Does the STD Wizard make diagnoses?
No. The STD Wizard is useful and efficient for determining which STD tests and vaccinations are indicated. But the STD Wizard cannot make a diagnosis, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care. Having a test recommended is just the first step toward a possible diagnosis. You need to seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider concerning any medical condition.
Is the STD Wizard guaranteed to give the “right answer”?
No. Over a ten year period, the STD Wizard has been extensively tested and reviewed to conform to the CDC Treatment Guidelines. And the STD Wizard software has been carefully planned and written. To date, the software has proven correct and error-free, probably the most accurate and efficient way to determine which tests are needed. However, it is impossible to guarantee that the STD Wizard always gives the “right answer”, for several reasons:
1) The STD Wizard recommends tests based on your personal risk factors, but not everyone with a risk factor contracts an STD, so the test may come back negative. 2) The CDC Treatment Guidelines are the best current scientific consensus of how to screen for STDs, but no such guideline is perfect; any clinical practice guideline evolves over time with new scientific knowledge. 3) You could contract an STD even with no known risk factors, for example if your partner contracts an STD and does not tell. 4) It is impossible to guarantee any complex software system (such as the STD Wizard) has no bugs.
Therefore, the STD Wizard is provided on an “as is” basis. The owners make no warranty or guarantee of correctness of the results and assume no liability for any damages directly or indirectly resulting from the use of the STD Wizard. The final page of the STD Wizard lists the questions and responses that triggered the recommendations. So if you or your health provider have any concern, you can review the logic of why a particular test was recommended. Even if you have no questions about why a test was recommended, you are encouraged to review the logic, so that you can lower your future risk.
Does the STD Wizard protect user privacy?
What is the target audience for the STD Wizard?
· Teenagers and college students (those at highest risk).
· Question wording and photos were chosen with youth in mind.
· But any age can use the STD Wizard.
How does the STD Wizard work?
· It asks a series of multiple-choice questions to assess STD risk.
· It asks only the questions needed. No more, no less.
· After the questions are asked, the user gets a list of recommendations.
· The recommendations can be printed out, or sent to an email address.
Questions are based on the CDC Guidelines. A few examples:
· How old are you, in years?
· When was the most recent HIV test you had?
· Have you ever used recreational drugs?
· Have you ever had your penis in a male’s mouth (receptive oral sex)?
Recommendations are based on the CDC Guidelines. A few examples:
· Cervical or urine test for chlamydia
· Hepatitis B vaccination
· Syphilis blood test
· Throat swab for gonorrhea
How many questions is a user asked?
· There are about 80 potential questions.
· The number asked depends on the user’s responses.
· On average, 15 to 30 questions are asked.
How many recommendations does a user get?
· It totally depends on the user’s risk factors.
· There are about 30 potential recommendations.
· In real-world use, tests are recommended for most users.
How much is the STD Wizard used?
· About 100 users per day run the STD Wizard.
· The great majority finish (get recommendations).
· We have had over 10,000 users per day run the wizard.
How does the STD Wizard know what question to ask next?
· A special program on the server reads a “logic file”.
· The logic file tells which question to ask next.
· The program handles all the clinical guideline logic.
· And it knows exactly what leads to each recommendation.
Has the STD Wizard been evaluated?
· Yes. As part of an evaluation, 200 college students used the STD Wizard.
· Study participants were easily able to complete the STD Wizard.
· 88% found the software “very easy to use”, 12% “easy to use”.