SFPL recently with sat down with Alonzo Davis, the creator of JustBeenTested.com. JBT was created designed to encourage like-minded people to get tested for sexual transmitted infections and interact with others that aim to be sexually responsible.
Read the more after the jump!
1. SFPL: Aside from losing a loved one and meeting and talking with those living with AIDS, why is JBT your mission? Why now?
Alonzo Davis: JBT is my mission because I have been getting signs that a site/company like this needs to exist. I get annoyed and overwhelmed by how social media and the internet is used to promote ignorance. A social networking site where people can advertise themselves as being at least a little sexually responsible can hopefully encourage a few people to take an extra step before getting sexually involved with someone. Now is a good time, because social media is so influential to society, if it is harnessed the right way, it can influence people to make healthier decisions.
2. SFPL: Aside from STI awareness, what advice and information can JBT offer teens and young adults who are sexually active? Abstinence, etc.
Alonzo Davis: You can learn about several methods of birth control. Your best option to get tested given your budget and location. Communicate from people who don’t claim to be experts, but have real experience in the thousands of scenarios involving STIs and relationships. Outside of sexual health, there are forums that members contribute to from everything to reality TV to sports. Again, its a network for everyday people to interact about everyday topics, they are special in that they aim to be sexually responsible.
3. SFPL: How would like to see JBT used combat popular beliefs and stigmas that it isn’t that important to be tested regularly and to know your status?
Alonzo Davis: Since my focus is on testing and not results, I want people to use JBT as the reason why they question the sexual health of their peers or perspective partners. Question them in a way that’s non threatening, but instead concerned. If your friends take pride in getting tested, you don’t want to be left out. That’s our ultimate goal as a company. The “everybody’s doing it” kind of encouragement factor.
4. SFPL: What long term affects would you like to see as a result from launching JBT?
Alonzo Davis: People see getting tested as normal as checking their credit score. People view sexual health as something that enhances their sex lives. Not using protection and birth control are the kind of risks that keep you up at night, who needs that? Having your verified test date is JBT’s unique feature. It allows you to advocate getting tested and sexual health, yet doesn’t cast you out for less than favorable results. Technically, you could have a curable STI and still have your test date verified and you can seek treatment. Through the network, you could also seek support or learn about treatment options to help you adjust.
5. SFPL: What advice would you give to someone who isn’t as concerned with getting tested?
Alonzo Davis: Remember, we are all living with STIs, just some of us are infected. Do not think you are invincible! There are several stories where people lived lives that they thought were risk free and became HIV positive. Take a look at the below forum. Also, if you aren’t concerned with getting tested, you can’t expect your partner, and that kind of thinking is the kind of ignorance that spreads disease.