Rates of syphilis in Forsyth, NC have tripled in one year, so health officials there have come up with a novel idea to entice people to get tested. Folks who undergo testing are awarded with a $10 gift card to either Walmart or McDonald’s. Now, I know people need some kind of incentive to get tested, but can’t we think of a better idea than trading syphilis for diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol? The Walmart card could be beneficial, but I wonder how the corporation feels about being used to lure potential syphilis sufferers. At least the gift card provides a silver lining if a person tests positive. [F-Listed] Keep reading »
In 1993 a Harvard study looked at a random sample of more than 400,000 couples in which both members were between 67 and 99 years old. Nine years later, researchers checked back in with the couples to find that 21 percent of the men and 43 percent of the women had lost their spouses — and a small portion of these newly single seniors had been diagnosed with an STD.
The women who had lost their husbands weren’t found to be at a significantly higher risk for STDs after their partners died, but the widowers had a 16 percent higher risk of being infected during the six months to a year after their wives died. What did they do, start picking up women at the cemetery when they paid visits to their dead wives’ graves? The men certainly took advantage of their newfound freedom — or, perhaps getting busy was simply their way of dealing with grief. [Newswise] Keep reading »
Das Commitee, an advertising agency in Hamburg, Germany, has just unveiled their ads for World AIDS Day, which happens on Dec. 1. The three-part series features photos of Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein gettin’ busy with models next to the slogan “AIDS Is A Mass Murderer.” Yikes. I know it’s for a good cause, but really, I never ever wanted to see history’s most horrible dictators doin’ it. See the full NSFW (thanks to some bare man butt and some heavy breathing) video here — it truly fits the definition of “viral.” [WOW Report] Keep reading »
Possibly ruining my appreciation for the noble Swedes and their fine IKEA meatballs, a recent study has found that Swedish men with STDs think their infection is an affirmation of their manliness.
University of Skovde researcher Kina Hammarlund interviewed an unknown group of 16- to 30-year-old men and women for her dissertation and discovered it was only male participants who put on rose-colored glasses, seeing STDs like genital warts or gonorrhea as a rite of passage to manhood. It’s a telling statement about sexuality that men viewed STDs as something positive about their manhood, while women didn’t think it said anything about their womanhood. STDs could imply, even erroneously, that a guy is kind of a stud. But it’s hard to believe anyone would be proud of an STD. Could this study be bulls**t? [The Local via Feministing] Keep reading »
A tough-ass koala that survived predators, life in the wild, and even the terrible brush fires that devastated 2,000 homes and killed hundreds of Australians, couldn’t beat chlamydia. Samantha, the four-year-old eucalyptus-loving koala, sadly passed away today from the STD. After surviving the traumatic blaze, Sam became a symbol of hope for the country that suffered so much loss when a firefighter rescued her burned body live on television. Keep reading »
Half of Washington, D.C.’s cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea are among adolescents, so it’s a good thing the city has expanded a pilot program that offers free STD testing to high school students.
Last year, when the program launched with STD testing offered in eight schools, about 3,000 students participated and 13 percent of them tested positive for an STD, mostly gonorrhea or chlamydia. This year, all high school students will have the opportunity to participate in the program. They will attend a lecture and Q&A session about STDs. Then 15 to 20 of them at a time will be given paper bags containing urine collection cups and will be sent into bathroom stalls. Once students are in the stalls, they will decide whether or not they want to provide a urine sample. They’ll then return the paper bags with the container inside, either filled or not, so others won’t know whether they’ve given a sample. Students will then be given a password to use when they call in a week later to find out the tests’ results and receive treatment, if necessary. Keep reading »
Want a new iPod? Or a Wii? Or a Fujitsu laptop? Get tested for STDs! In a new attempt to get England’s sexually rampant youth out of the bedroom and into a clinic, Britain’s National Health Service is entering folks who get tested in raffles for expensive high-tech toys and even weekend getaways. Why? Because there’s been a serious chlamydia outbreak there lately, and the disease is now the number one STD in the country. The NHS is dipping into taxpayer’s money, practically bribing folks to get tested. [Daily Mail]
Keep reading »
At Port Chester High School in New York, officials have signed off on a new service that has lots of folks up in arms. They’ll now be offering free STD and pregnancy testing to any student who asks … without parental consent or notification. While many people are squirming in their seats thinking about the moral and religious implications of this decision, I gotta say woo hoo! Here’s why. Keep reading »
A reader sent me an email and asked me if I would ever date someone with an incurable STD. She had recently been diagnosed with the HSV virus (that’s herpes, y’all), and wanted my answer to be honest and not “PC.” So here it is goes, my unvarnished, gut reaction to the question: No, I would not date someone with an incurable STD. Keep reading »
I was having dinner with some friends the other night, one of whom does HIV research. We started talking about STDs in general when another friend admitted she’s had herpes for about 10 years. She said she contracted it from the second guy she ever slept with and though she hasn’t had an outbreak in about 8 years, she always tells potential sex partners about it. I was surprised when she said that her gynecologist said that as long as she isn’t in the middle of an outbreak, there’s really no need to tell a sex partner — then I remembered this letter to advice columnist Jamie Bufalino in last week’s Time Out New York. A young woman writes:
“I’m a 23-year-old female, and just found out yesterday that I have contracted HPV/genital warts. I called the four people I’ve slept with in the past year to inform them, saving my current beau (he’s 28, BTW) for last. When I got on the phone with him (he lives in Boston, I’m in New York), I hardly had to say anything because he quickly responded: “Oh yeah, I have HPV too.” We’ve been dating for four months and he never bothered to mention that his last two girlfriends both magically contracted this virus after being with him. He apologized, said he felt terrible that he never told me, that he had planned to tell me soon, asked what he could do to make up for it, etc. I told him I never wanted to speak to him again. Now, the morning after, I wonder: Is getting an STD just part of being an adult? Or is passing a virus a deal breaker?”
Keep reading »