If LGBT health organizations are having trouble reaching some segments of the population, what kind of messaging could possibly break through and motivate them to get an STD test? Hey, Bernie Sanders seems pretty popular these days — maybe evoke his name in a new ad campaign.
That seems to be the plan at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which just erected a billboard in LA reading “Feel the Burn?” and directs people to a site with info on free STD checks. Certainly, everyone who is sexually active should be tested, and anything that motivates more folks to know their status is a good thing. So this is a handy reminder to go get your finger pricked and your various other body parts swabbed and prodded.
In fact, while we’re on the subject of politics, getting tested is probably more important than being registered to vote. After all, voting gives you an infinitesimally small voice in choosing our leaders; knowing your status gives you the immediate power of life and death (and also itching and burning) over everyone you sleep with. You’ll affect a lot more lives by ensuring your sexual health than by casting a vote.
Of course, any mention of AIDS Healthcare Foundation should probably be accompanied by a note about their attitude on PrEP. The organization has come out strongly against the drug, which when used correctly is almost 100% effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. Of course, it’s 0% effective on preventing the transmission of every other STI, so don’t throw out your condoms just yet.