Health officials in Switzerland have come up with a novel way to tackle the taboo of sexually transmitted diseases.
A new website, www.check-your-lovelife.ch, is aimed at people worried about their sexual health.
They can anonymously warn their previous sexual partners by SMS or email to get tested for infections, such as syphilis or chlamydia.
Roger Staub, an expert in STDs at the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, said it is important that people are informed so they don’t unwittingly pass on a disease to someone else.
“If we want those people to be informed, then one has to be honest.”
But the new messaging service drew a frosty response on the streets of Zurich.
Locals said it was an insensitive way of dealing with a highly sensitive issue.
“I would prefer to talk about it face-to-face, rather than receive an SMS or email,” said one youngster.
It appears the safe-sex message is already getting through.
“It’s cowardly to do it like this. If you have a disease, you should inform the person you slept with, or better still, use a condom,” another teenage said.
Swiss TV is running an ad campaign to promote the service.