Friday, December 16, 2005

You've got mail, and maybe gonorrhoea

New Web Site Lets Users Know If They Have An STD

LOS ANGELES (CBS) - A new Web site that lets Los Angeles County residents let their partners know they may have given them a sexually transmitted disease, anonymously, was launched Wednesday.

The county Department of Health Services and AIDS Healthcare Foundation launched the new site -- -- allows individuals to send electronic cards to their sexual partners.

The e-cards, which can be sent anonymously or with a personal note attached, warn people they may have recently been exposed to a STD. The Web site also provides information on testing and treatment.

"Face-to-face communication is really the way to go, but some people can't do that," said AHF's director of prevention and testing, Karen Mall.

The goal of the free service is to increase partner disclosure, Mall said.

InSPOTLA is based on a similar program launched last year in San Francisco. Officials estimate 750 people use the Bay Area site every day, and an average of 500 e-cards are sent monthly.

In 2003, 36,900 new cases of chlamydia, 8,078 new gonorrhea cases and 830 new syphilis infections were reported in Los Angeles County.

"This Web site will be a powerful tool in reducing the spread of STDs, including HIV, in L.A. County," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health.

"By giving people an easy way to notify their sex partners, inSPOTLA will enable more people to get tested and treated early for HIV and other STDs, preventing complications and helping stop the chain of infection," Fielding said.

Though disclosure of infection can be sent anonymously, health officials said they do not expect the Web site to be used for malicious purposes.

Less than half of one percent of the e-cards sent through the San Francisco site have been fraudulent, Mall said.


  1. Oh what a little abstinence, purity and modesty would do for this world...

  2. Totally. Can you imagine getting an email like that? That would be messed up!

  3. Welcome to my world -- this is a typical L.A. solution. Life is an impersonal affair here, unfortunately.

    I will say that it is better to alert someone to the reality that he or she may have contracted an STD through an anonymous e-mail than to not alert them at all.

  4. That is true. I guess not knowing you may have an STD would be a lot worse.

  5. Yeah, but wouldn't you be able to construe who sent it? I mean, I'm not a 10-partner a month person (any more, lol), so if I've just started seeing someone, and I 'coincidentally' get this email a week after the relationship starts or a month after it ended, I'm thinking I pretty much know what direction to start walking with a baseball bat in my hands.

  6. I guess what it does is that it allows the partner to tell the other without the ugly scene. It makes sense in that case, even if you know exactly who gave you the "gift that keeps on giving."

    I've never had a girlfriend tell me that she had the clap or anything like that, and I've never had a venereal disease (thank God) but I'd imagine that things wouldn't be especially pretty during that conversation, should it ever come up.

  7. I can't even begin to imagine the malicious prank e-mails that unsuspecting men will be receiving from their pi$$ed-off recently dumped ex-girlfriends and one-night stands they never called back....

  8. Fifty-thousand emails strting with "DEAR FUCKING BASTARD" :-)