Massachusetts: E-Cards Let Partners in on STD Info
August 30, 2006
Massachusetts residents can now use a Web site to inform former sex partners they may be infected with an STD. On the site, www.inSPOT.org, users can send e-cards with or without their own personal information to urge the recipient to be checked for STDs.
The nonprofit Internet Sexuality Information Services Inc. (ISIS) launched the site in San Francisco in 2004. The Massachusetts-specific information, which came online in August, includes advice about local agencies that offer STD testing, treatment and support. Half of those who receive the notifications click the site's links to access more information, said Deb Levine, the founder and executive director of ISIS. The new section of the site is funded in part by a private Massachusetts donor interested in expanding STD services in the state.
InSPOT.org targets five cities and four states. More than 30,000 cards have been sent to 49,500 recipients through the site. Eighty percent of the cards were sent anonymously.
"Partnership notification has been a proven method of reducing transmission of sexually transmitted diseases nationally," Levine said. ISIS guarantees both senders and recipients will remain anonymous, and no information collected with be shared with private or government agencies. "We have absolutely no back-end database," said Levine. ISIS has received about 75 complaints of potential site abuses, she said: Some people have contacted the site believing they received the e-cards in error and asking who sent them.
08.25.06; Donna Goodison
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.