STD Registry is Thousands Of Open, Oozing Lawsuits Waiting To Happen

Illustration for article titled STD Registry is Thousands Of Open, Oozing Lawsuits Waiting To Happen

It doesn't take any fancy book-learning to realize that a user-driven website that purports to list STD carriers could be abused by the public, especially when third-party accounts of the state of the others' genitals are considered reliable.


The website purports itself to be some kind of public service, but rather than serving the needs of a public that wants to avoid getting STD's from all of those nefarious, trenchcoat-wearing, mustache-twirling deliberate herpes-spreaders, it seems instead to serve as a great resource with which to immaturely and anonymously fuck people over. I've never had an STD, but hotdamn am I not okay with this at all.

Speculation about someone's medical history should not be subject to public scrutiny and especially shouldn't be put in a searchable database full of gems like this-

She sleeps around and has passed it on to at least 12 since at least August 2010 and December 2010. Over ten people i know have gotten it and she blamed everyone else instead of admitting she had it. And even though she knows she has it she still has not gone to the doctors to get it checked out.


Many of the super medically accurate disclosures are in ALL CAPS and thus MUCH MORE LEGITIMATE because everyone knows that DOCTORS USUALLY WRITE IN ALL CAPS.

There are multiple fun corners to explore on, but the most fucked up area is that which allows site visitors to search for names and cities of the listed. You can also conveniently browse for people who may or may not have been convicted of spreading HIV to sexual partners.

So what happens if you're listed on the site for being a big ho' who broke up with someone nerd who got mad and started writing shit about you on the internet? The site's servers are located in The Bahamas and the name of whoever owns the domain isn't listed, and the site's "listing removal policy" suggests you either contact whoever anonymously posted the listing and ask that they take it down (using, I'd assume, your psychic powers that allow you to discern who anonymous internet commenters are), or go to the doctor, get tested, and send some of your test results to a post office box in Oregon. Thankfully, it doesn't look like the site is quite the Craigslist of the Crotch that it claims to be, but no matter how big or small a site like this is, the fact that it exists is grosser than sending STD herpes results to a Ducks fan.


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This kind of STD slutshaming doesn't just happen online.

When I was a junior in college I tested positive for gonorrhea. I was dubious about this because I hadn't had any sexual contact since before my previous annual exam, over a year ago (I went through a lot of long dry spells in college). I'd been dating a guy for a month or two and we hadn't done anything more than kissing (and never really would the entire 10 months we were together—he was a virgin for no particular reason and we broke up without changing that). Planned Parenthood gave me antibiotics, which I dutifully took, and I thought that was the end of that.

About a month later, I get a call from the health department. They wouldn't say what it was or how they got my number but I was freakedthefuckout and I went downtown to see someone in the health clinic asap. A big guy named Mike escorted me to a small office, sat me down, and said, "You tested positive for gonorrhea recently, correct?" I said yes, and I'd taken antibiotics for it and everything should be fine now. Mike said, "We need to know who you've slept with in the past year so we can notify them." I said that there was nobody, I'd been celibate for about a year and a half at this point and had previously had a clean test for everything about a year ago, so I thought this might have been a false positive, but I took the meds for it just in case. He said that I had to have contracted it within the last six months because if it had gone unchecked for the year and a half since I'd last had sex, I'd have had some serious scarring in my fallopian tubes as a result, and my exam had shown none of that. And then he insisted that I stop lying to him and tell him who I had slept with.

I kept telling him that there was nobody, and that I'd been dating a guy for a couple of months but we hadn't done anything more than kiss. Mike then claimed that gonorrhea could be spread orally (something I've never verified, but then wouldn't it stay localized in my throat and not have shown up in a gynecological exam? I don't know how that would work, I'm not in the medical field). I said, OK, then I'll tell him to get tested and he can get meds too, but I had taken my meds and hadn't had sex with anyone, so could I please go?

Mike then physically blocked the door and kept me in that office for the next 15 minutes as I cried and pleaded with him to believe me and he tried to bully me into telling him who I'd slept with in the past year. He finally let me go when I wouldn't deviate from what I'd been telling him this entire time. I left the health department shaking, crying, and absolutely terrified and angry that they had seen fit to treat me this way. I wrote an angry letter to the health department but never heard anything back, and a year later when my roommate (a nursing student) did an internship at the health department doing STD testing, she said that Mike was still there.

If I hadn't been a poor college student at the time, I probably would have lawyered up and tried to do something about the atrocious way they treated people who tested positive. Instead, the letter was all I could do. I really hope my situation was the exception and not the rule, but it probably wasn't. I'm still very angry about this to this day. Whether or not I actually had gonorrhea is irrelevant—nobody should be locked in a room and forced to confess their sexual history to a stranger because they tested positive. If this is standard practice, then this site is nothing new.