Local Governments in U.S., Worldwide Considering Program To Allow MSM With STDs To Notify Sex Partners via E-Mail
Local governments in the United States and worldwide are working to adopt a program that allows men who have sex with men who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease to send e-cards to inform their sex partners of their condition, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (Martinez, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 6/26). The program -- known as InSPOT, Internet Notification Service for Partners or Tricks, and funded by the San Francisco Department of Public Health STD Services -- was launched in October 2004 in San Francisco and is the first service that allows people diagnosed with an STD to inform others of their condition, rather than having public health officials contact their partners. The e-cards use funny slogans, can be sent to up to six e-mail addresses at a time, may be signed or sent anonymously and use a drop-down menu of eight STDs, not including HIV (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/7/04). The Indiana State Department of Health recently said it plans to use the program, and the Mazzoni Center -- a Philadelphia group that works with sexual minorities -- and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health earlier this month announced they will work together to examine adopting the service in the city. In addition, an international nongovernmental organization has said it will replicate the service in Romania, according to Deb Levine, executive director of Internet Sexuality Information Services, which runs the program in San Francisco. Officials in Florida, Maryland, New York state and British Columbia also have expressed interest in the program, the Pioneer Press reports. The groups will spend approximately $20,000 to adapt the service to local communities, plus an annual maintenance fee for the Web site, according to Levine (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 6/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.