Volunteer Opportunity - Back-End Development
Sexual Health Innovations - Baltimore, MD

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Sexual Health Innovations, a non-protfit dedicated to using technology to improve sexual health, is creating a website called Campaign Inform. This website will allow people who have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to anonymously notify their partners that they should get tested. We are looking for a developer who know Django (a Python language) to help with the back-end of the website.

The Problem We Want to Solve

Every year, over 3 million young Americans get infected with a curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomonas. Most Americans with these STDs don't know they are infected and don't seek treatment. This results in needless ongoing transmission, particularly among 15 to 24 year-olds, and serious reproductive health problems. One of the most effective strategies for addressing this public health problem is partner notification, which brings high-risk partners of diagnosed individuals in for testing and treatment. These partners tend to be around ten times more likely to be infected with an STD than the average person coming in for testing. Unfortunately, most health departments can't afford to offer anonymous partner notification services to people with curable STDs, and when people aren't offered anonymous services they tend to notify only about half to a quarter of their at-risk partners.

The Website We're Making to Solve the Problem

To address this problem we are founding a website, Campaign Inform, which allows people inform their partners that they might have an STD via anonymous emails. The emails will provide relevant health information and links to locate nearby testing services. The website will also provide information about sexual health and will offer tools to help users determine their risk of having an STD and figure out who they should notify if they are diagnosed with an STD. Uptake of this partner notification service — and the subsequent testing and treatment of high-risk individuals —could dramatically reduce STD transmission in the United States.

Where We Need Help

We have a team of front-end developers working on the HTML/CSS/JavaScript, and the skeleton of a back-end in Python. We can generate emails, but we need to add some databases and additional security features to the back-end. We anticipate that for an experienced programmer, the bulk of the work could be done in a few days of work, with very small occassional alterations to the site over the next couple months.