12 STI’s of Christmas

My favorite is the stick figure shaking his little butt.  Which little one do you like best?  (Video after the jump.)

12 STIs of Christmas

And here’s the public health response on this Soapbox Saturday….

From a public health perspective, fear of something is not a very effective tool to influence behavior change.  But I still find this little public health message cute and informative… mostly because it reminds that condoms protect from more than HIV.  Perhaps it is good campaign to direct at pharmaceuticals?  It does a good job of showing how ridiculous it is that we ONLY have the condom to protect against these infections, which is pretty worthless when you consider the amount of people who choose to have sex without condoms because they want to get pregnant (or live in a pronatalist culture), or are forced to do so, whether by threat, coercion, or obligation.

If anyone says ‘abstaining’ as an option, I may just hurl, or cry.  We’re not taking about American upper middle class teenagers, first of all, and second, the entirety of sexual and reproductive health doesn’t revolve around them and their perceived needs.  Sexuality as a ‘choice’ exists in only a few spaces.  In reality, many have very little choice on how their sexuality gets expressed: culture, tradition, expectations, power, money, obligation, and poverty are much more present factors than any individual behavior ‘choice.’  Which is why the condom, a method that must be negotiated between a couple, is so ineffective as a comprehensive tool.  It’s all we’ve got and at least it works when it’s used correctly, but it’s hardly the answer we need.

Santa?  Are you listening?  Here is what I would like for Christmas: A viable method of protection for sexual partners to use that prevents STIs that is NOT the condom.  Can you get your elves on that?  Our pharmaceuticals are just not heading the message.