Just in time for World AIDS Day, the city has launched a new high-tech salvo against the transmission of STDs.
A new app released by the Department of Public Health is called STD411, and it shows users how different diseases are correlated with different sex acts. A grid of blinking condoms reveal, for example, that anal intercourse carries a high risk of HIV transmission, which masturbation carries a low risk of hepatitis as long as sex toys are cleaned and hands are washed.
The app cost about $4,000 to produce, and was paid for with funds from the Centers for Disease Control.
Recent research has shown that among men who have sex with men, online hookups correlate with riskier sexual behavior. An alarmingly high percentage of partners do not ask each other about HIV status, or simply guess. It's a high priority for the DPH to intervene and educate those individuals about responsible intercourse.
Other organizations have engaged in similar outreach. Oakland-based ISIS spearheaded an interactive text-messaging service in Toronto that provides users with up-to-date sex information, tailored to their expressed interests.
An a new location-aware iPhone app from Europe shows users where their closest condom dispensers are. Only a few American cities are participating in that application, so the closest registered dispenser to San Francisco is in San Diego. But here's a tip: swing by the LGBT Center on Market near Octavia for all the safe sex help you could possibly require.