Feature

E-mail and STDs

Is it OK to use an e-card to notify past partners they might be infected?

“And you thought spam mail was bad!” said Linda Diproperzio in Examiner.com. An Internet-based company—www.InSpot.org—is offering a new service to people who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease—electronic greeting cards to notify sexual partners. Recipients can click for information on treatments and nearby clinics.

It’s a good idea, said Andrew McKinnon in Switched, but some of the cards are unnecessarily “cheeky”—one says: “It’s not what you brought to the party. It’s what you left with.” It would be nice if “they’d use a little more tact,” although maybe there’s no nice way to say, “You’ve got an STD.”

Anything that makes breaking the news easier will be helpful, said Eliza Strickland in Discover magazine online. For many people diagnosed with STDs, "notifying past sexual partners of their health risk is a task that's just too humiliating to face." If e-cards can make breaking the news easier, more people will get to the doctor in time.

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