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STDs study: If you need to notify a sex partner about chlamydia, don't send an e-card

Is there really a good way to tell someone you may have given them an STD? Maybe not, but there are certainly some ways that are less embarrassing and/or horrifying than others. Sending an e-card isn't one of them, according to a recent study conducted at the Denver Metro Health Clinic.

The study focused on inSPOT, a California-based provider of STD e-cards. The cards often feature photos of hot men and feature such witty sayings as, "You're too hot to be out of action," "It's not what you brought to the party, it's what you left with" and "I got screwed while screwing, you might have too."

Though inSPOT has been around since 2004 (check out this 2008 New York Times story), experts say it's been hard to evaluate its effectiveness. The Denver study did just that -- and found that recognition and use of STD e-cards was low; fewer than 6 percent of study participants had sent them. Instead, more than 90 percent of participants said they'd prefer to notify their sex partners in person. Of those who sent e-cards, 30 percent were notifying their partners about scabies and crabs.

But, as Mary McFarlane, an STD specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who co-authored the study, told the Times in 2008, it's unclear how "many of those who sent anonymous cards about crabs and scabies were playing pranks on friends."

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