| News |

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

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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."

We'd guess the answer is "a lot."

See a few sample e-cards below:

More from our News archives: "Nude artwork & piece misidentified as a vagina removed, then returned to Wheat Ridge display."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.