Now here's an idea that we can't decide whether to love or hate: A U.S. company is launching a product called the Safe Sex Passport. Says the founder, "Some years ago I met an individual who had intercourse with someone they met online, who didn't disclose that they had an STD. The idea popped into my head that people know but don't tell the truth, and we needed an independent way to verify someone's health status."

Enter the Safe Sex Passport: you show up to a lab with your official ID and get tested for HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, and then any potential partners can call the Safe Sex Passport hotline and get your vital stats.

(Fortunately a password is required so that you can't just call the hotline to find out whether, say, your asshole boss has the herp.) Subscribers also get a virtual health certificate to post on their MySpace or online dating profile. Which seems kind of gauche to us, but, hey, it's a jungle out there. Or, as the founder puts it, "In the old days, you had to take someone's word for it when they said they had been tested and were in the clear. Now you can ask for proof."

The only problem is, if you don't trust their word, then how do you know that they didn't go on an unsafe-sex rampage in the 24 hours (or, more likely, weeks or months) since visiting the lab? We're all for more talk about STDs, but this just seems like it could lull someone into a false sense of security. Plus, this kind of system doesn't reward honesty and openness, it rewards a clean bill of health. Which, yes, is partly a result of responsible behavior, but it's partly just luck, too. We know a woman who got the herp from the first guy she slept her senior year of college.

If you really want to be sure, getting tested together is still your safest bet. And even then you're trusting your partner not to cheat on you and bring something infectious back to the roost. Which brings us to our final problem with this product: there's no such thing as safe sex, except for maybe phone sex. That's why they call it safer sex these days. We're just sayin', is all. [Via Yahoo News]


LisaG said:

"Some years ago I met an individual who had intercourse with someone they met online, who didn't disclose that they had an STD." Yeah buddy, I bet that "individual" was you!

shiri said:

No matter how desperate I get, I wouldn't EVER feel the need to post my virtual health certificate on my MySpace page.

Erin said:

Cause when I'm at a club, having trouble deciding which bloke I'd want to drop trow with - it'd def be the one conveniently flashing his safe sex credit card. yes, please!

Sara said:

The idea of having stigmatizing health information available to anyone with the correct password seems like a privacy breach disaster waiting to happen. Although I might support it if you could get some sort of frequent flier bonuses program woven into use of the card.

melissa said:

yeah this sounds a little big brother-esque if you ask me.

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