AirTalk for November 18, 2013

Should public health officials help those with STDs inform their exes?

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Many people with an STI haven't been tested and don't know they have one. If you were at risk, would you want your ex to let you know by text?

The first thing you're supposed to do when diagnosed with an STD — besides seeking treatment, of course — is to inform any past partners you think may have also been exposed. It's such an uncomfortable conversation that people often don't bother suffering through the awkward phone calls. That’s leaving a lot of people at risk.

The CDC estimates that there are 20 million new cases of STDS, also known as STI’s or sexually transmitted infections, every year. In an effort to curb a recent epidemic of gonorrhea, the Spokane Regional Health District is offering a service where their own health workers will track down and notify your exes anonymously that they may have been infected.

Can this service help get more people treatment who otherwise would never know? Would you use this government service if you happened to contract an STD? Does do a disservice that the notifications are anonymous?

Guest:

Karl Eastlund, CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho


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