Sunday, March 23, 2008

Random Easter venereal disease post

Overheard back in the early 80's - "you know the difference between true love and herpes? Herpes lasts forever"

It so happens that a few weeks ago I was talking to a pharmacist who was amused by some of the TV ads for pharmaceuticals. She was particularly amused by one for Valtrex, in which one person would say "I have herpes" and their presumptive bedmate said "and I don't" To which our pharmacist said "but you will".

I assume that the people in the commercials were actors, or at least would claim that they were. Even so, we're talking social evolution here. I can't find a link, but I seem to recall that back in the 80's a couple filed suit because their image was used in a public service ad about herpes.

Such innocent times! We hadn't heard of AIDS yet. Once the acronym appeared it was pretty firmly associated with IV drug users, Haitians and especially gays. Some of my less PC coworkers in hard hats said it stood for "another infected..." and the rest will be left as an exercise.

Hey, while we're at it why not work in something about syphilis too. I understand that you can get it from blood transfusions. And that apparently this was a problem in Mexico once upon a time.

More social evolution: a few weeks ago I took a pit stop at a convenience store and the men's room was out of service. No problem, they said to use the ladies' room. Ah, they have condom machines in here too. But it's been a while since I've seen one that said "for prevention of disease only".

Ha, good luck with that. They aren't 100% effective as birth control when used as directed by competent adults, much less by horny adolescents. It's hard to see how they'd be any more effective against disease. Of course abstinence is always 100% effective when used. It's not very reliable when it's *not* used, but then neither are condoms. Yes, that's absurd, but then why do some people blame abstinence education programs for problems that occur when they clearly aren't being followed? Are programs that encourage condom use ever blamed for problems that occur when kids don't use condoms?

Clearly I've run out of things to write about, so that will be all.

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