From a theoretical point of view, STD Risk Calculator is highly reliable in that it is based on peer-reviewed science and mathematical laws of probability. However, there are a number of practical issues that limit the reliability of the tool.
To begin with, STD Risk Calculator uses accepted scientific data to prepare its results and was designed by individuals with advanced degrees in science. The research base used includes statistical data about disease prevalence at a population level in addition to research studies that have sought to determine both the infectiousness of and the routes of transmission for various sexually-transmitted infections.
In practice, there are nuances (e.g. specific epidemiological aspects, patterns of transmission, etc.) of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) that may complicate or hamper attempts to describe the probability that one has acquired such an infection. For this reason, STD Risk Calculator has been carefully designed to collect relevant information as needed to address the complexity introduced by secondary and tertiary factors.
Despite this, there are occasionally situations where nobody knows the true answer to what the probability looks like exactly. A lack of reliable research hampers scientific understanding of certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in certain contexts, for example. For this reason, STD Risk Calculator gives probabilities with a confidence value (out of 3) which can be used to indicate how reliable the given probability figure is expected to be.
It is important to remember that this tool is to be used as a guide to understanding sexual health and should NOT be taken as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional like a physician. For more information, please read our legal section.