San Francisco Site Provides STD Notification E-Cards
The San Francisco Department of Public Health STD Services on Wednesday launched a program to allow people who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease to notify their sexual partners of their diagnosis using electronic cards, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The program -- called the Internet Notification Service for Partners or Tricks, or InSpot -- is targeted specifically at men who have unprotected sex with men but is available to anyone.
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of STD prevention and control for SFDPH, said the service is the first of its kind in the nation, according to the Chronicle. He added that the service could be particularly useful for people who meet sex partners online and only have e-mail addresses or screen names as contact information.
Through InSpot, cards can be sent to as many as six e-mail addresses at a time, and users can choose to sign them or remain anonymous. The service features a drop-down menu of eight STDs, such as chlamydia or syphilis, but it does not include an option to inform someone of an HIV-positive diagnosis.
No personal information will be collected from the site, and the only data that will be monitored are impersonal statistics such as how often certain cards are used and how many hits the site receives, according to Deb Levine, executive director of Internet Sexuality Information Services, which is running InSpot.
Klausner said that the site will cost less than $20,000 per year to maintain and that $20,000 has been budgeted to publicize it (Herel, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/6).