Sunday, August 24, 2008

Send an HIV-positive postcard?

Very interesting: inSpotLA is a website that allows people who are HIV-positive to send an anonymous e-card to all their previous and possibly infected partners telling them they should be tested. The e-card then directs the receiver to more information about how to get tested.
I can imagine it must difficult to tell someone that they may be HIV-positive, and that you know this because YOU may have been the one to give it to them. Would anyone want to receive this e-card? No. Would most people rather have a former lover tell them in person? Probably. But if this is the only way some people can deliver such important information, then it could be an innovative idea.
Go to the website:

When I first found this site, it seemed like it was only for the LA area. They have now expanded into several states, Louisiana and Florida included, and for some reason Romania as well (in Romanian!). So I sent myself a test e-card. Mine was in Spanish, for Louisiana. For some reason the card wouldn't let me pick HIV as my fictitious STD, so I picked Hep A. I don't understand why HIV wasn't an option, maybe they're working on it. But when I opened the card I was also able to see a list of testing clinics in the New Orleans area. Very useful, I think. The cards to choose from ranged from funny to sad, English, Spanish and ROMANIAN!?! But the best thing is that you don't have to reveal who you are. That will make it easier for those people who feel so bad they might never tell if they had to say it in person. Hopefully, health workers will encourage new STD cases to use this to warn past partners using this method if they're too scared to say it in person.

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