Sex partners urged to disclose infections via e-cards

B.C. joins online service to help battle spread of disease

One of the e-cards that users of inSPOT can send anonymously.

It’s an Internet greeting card no one really wants to receive.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is promoting a free online service that helps break the news to former sex partners that you may have given them a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Users of the inSPOT service can send anonymous e-cards via email to up to six partners warning them that they should get tested.

Recipients get a link to information on how and where to get testing.

The site, www.inspot.org, also offers information on STIs.

Dr. Mark Gilbert at the BCCDC said notifications are critical to combatting and preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.

“Anyone can use inSPOT. It doesn’t require visitors to login or register to use the service,” he said. “It’s free, simple and easy to use.”

Users select an e-card with one of several different messages, enter the partner’s email address and can also add a personal message.

“Sometimes there are strings attached,” reads one of the e-cards.

Another says: “It’s not what you brought to the party, it’s what you left with. I left with an STI. You might have, too.”

The service has been implemented in other North American cities after being developed in 2004 in San Francisco.

InSPOT stands for Internet Notification Service for Partners or Tricks.