Get the clap, win a holiday

Thursday, May 29, 2008 1:03 | Filed in Local Interest, Media

Well, okay, it’s not quite that simple.

But I was still somewhat shocked this morning when I was browsing through the BBC Tyne News site and discovered that…

Young people in the North East are being given the chance to win a holiday if they get themselves tested for a sexually transmitted disease.BBC Tyne News

Great, I thought. Me and the missus were just starting to look at holiday brochures for next year. I’ll just pop down the clap clinic in the morning, get tested for chlamydia, and then we’ll save all that money on holidays. Fan-bloody-tastic.

Of course, there’s three teensy flaws with this plan. Firstly, I probably wouldn’t be lucky in the draw and win the holiday. Secondly, I’m not convinced the wife would believe that I was only down the clap clinic to try and win a holiday and I’d probably have my testicles removed with a rusty spoon. Thirdly, I don’t qualify as being sufficiently “young” to win a holiday.

I don’t see why not, mind you. After all, so far as I am aware, there is no biological reason why someone thirt– in their very late twenties, like I am — can’t catch chlamydia. So why are only the youngsters allowed a chance to win a free holiday? Presumably people in their very late twenties can theoretically be promiscuous too?

Now I don’t want to belittle attempts to get people to get tested for a disease which may pass by unnoticed without symptoms, can cause fertility problems, and might pass by without any noticeable symptoms. It’s a bad thing and we should try to reduce the incidence of it.

But am I the only one who thinks that sending an 18-24 year old who you already think is likely to be highly sexually active (well, that’s why they are the high risk group, after all) on a free holiday is not necessarily a good idea. After all, what sort of holiday do you expect highly-sexed 18-24 year olds to go on? A nice quiet holiday exploring Tuscany, or an 18-24 booze and bonkathon in Ibiza? In other words, the sort of holiday where if they didn’t have chlamydia before they went, they’d probably have it by the time they came back…

Or do you think I’m just bitter because at thir– in my very late twenties — I’m too old to qualify for the holiday?

But then again, this reminds me of another ‘testing for chlamydia’ thing I heard recently. Employees from a large company were offered sexual health screening in company time, as an incentive to encourage health and well being in the workplace. Only initially, you had to make sure you had your boss’ permission to attend. So for those people willing to stick their hands up in the air and announce to their boss that “boss, boss, I’ve been shagging around a bit, and I’m worried I’ve got the clap: you don’t mind if I go for a test, do you?”.

I guess the only thing that could have made it worse would have been if they had told everyone to go and get screened in the middle of the staff canteen…

But seriously folks, I do think that it is a good thing to try and encourage people to get tested for this sort of thing, and we should have initiatives to not only encourage people to get tested if they’ve been shagging around left, right and and centre, but also to try and encourage them to take precautions when they are shagging around left, right and centre.

However, I do think that perhaps the way we try to encourage these things needs to be thought out a little better from time to time…

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2 Comments to Get the clap, win a holiday

  1. PharmacistMike says:

    May 29th, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Increasing the number of screenings for STDs is important and it’s neat to see it done as a company health program. However, you’re right. It might be a bit awkward to have to ask the boss for permission. Although, it might be a good way to get fired from the job you dislike, “Hey boss, I’ve been shagging your old lady for a few months now and I really think I should have one of these tests.”

  2. paul canning says:

    May 29th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    yes jack, you’re totally right.

    I recall my Aussie experience and that *was ‘free at the point of delivery’, ‘just turn up’ – which is how to do it.

    we are so backwards with this stuff in the UK – that’s why we have an epidemic of STDs – bad services, lack of availability of simple, walk-in services. i’m sure some health professionals are quoted somewhere about this daft promotion pointing this pretty basic contradiction out.

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