And by SuperPoked, I mean possibly infected with an STD.
Sometimes you find the strangest things when reading the
scientific literature. This afternoon, I
was looking over the Table of Contents for the medical journal PLOS-Medicine
and noticed a public health article about inSPOT – an online STD Partner
Notification System that uses e-cards.
Yep – no longer face the embarrassment of actually telling a
person face-to-face, or on the phone, or even in a personal email that you’ve likely
given them the clap – or worse. Just
send an optionally anonymous e-card. You
log-in, list the emails of the partners you might have exposed, pick your STD (from
a handy dropdown menu) and send. Easy
After I picked my jaw up off the floor and finished
lamenting the abdication of personal responsibility in America, I felt like I had to read
a little about it.
Since its launch in 2004 by the San Francisco Department of
Public Health (raise your hand if you’re surprised), the site has been adapted
to several major North American cities (as well as Romania, which I must confess is a
head-scratcher…) and approximately 50000 e-card notifications have been sent.
My reaction ends up being a little mixed – this seems
incredibly detached and gutless way to own up to a very serious issue – an easy
way out. But yet, isn’t an easy way out
to notification better than no notification at all? Also, the notification provides a link on the
disease and treatment centers/options – which also seems like a good thing.
Maybe in the future they can commercialize with Hallmark and
enlist popular characters like hoops&yoyo to make the notifications.