Blog | Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'd rather have spam, thanks


We've got e-cards for birthdays, holidays and fall foliage trips. We've got an automated phone service for informing a person s/he has bad breath.

But did you know there is a free e-card service for anonymously informing one's partner(s) about an STD?

inSPOT, which has been around for several years and just got a write-up in PLoS Medicine, lets a user pick from one of six card designs, and insert the email addresses of up to six partners at a time. The user can choose a "pre-filled STD message" from a drop down menu of STDS (which includes gonorrhea, chlamydia, crabs and scabies, hep A, molloscum, shigella, syphilis, NGU, but not herpes or AIDS for some reason)-- or just leave it general and tell the person it's an STD. When a recipient clicks on the card, he or she is linked to a page with info on the disease/s.

One of the cards features a bare-chested man with a blurry neon bar scene in the background and the words:

"It's not what you brought to the party, it's what you left with. I left with (fill in STD name here). You might have too. Get checked. www.inspot.org"

Another one shows a photo of a little card that says "I'm so sorry". There are six cards in all, with varying degrees of contriteness and lightness. For certain cities and states, there is also an interactive map on the Web site which tells the various locations where one can get tested.

Over 750 people visit the site daily, the PLoS article says.