NYC Using Racy Emoji Posters to Combat Rise in STDs

Did you know that sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in New York City? NYC’s new “Bare It All” campaign of posters featuring emojis arranged to represent sexual situations is intended to remind New Yorkers to get tested regularly at sexual health clinics and talk to their doctor about STDs.

The campaign features groundbreaking and extremely clever lines of emojis followed by the tagline “Get Tested!” I can’t imagine that the original creator of the eggplant and peach emojis ever intended their legacy to be more than symbols for produce but…

These ads will be featured on posters plastered onto subway stations and bus stops, as well as popular apps including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, as well as the gay hookup app Grindr and the Gay Ad Network.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett throws her support behind the ad campaign:

The increase in rates of sexually transmitted infection is a disturbing national trend that has had a widespread impact on this city. All sexually active New Yorkers should play safe, get screened regularly, and have fun.

If you look at the disturbing trends regarding the rise of STDs in NYC, you might support the crude, yet hopefully effective series of ads: From 2015 to 2016, cases of syphilis have increased by 27 percent, cases of gonorrhea by 18 percent for males, and cases of chlamydia by 6 percent. The NYC health department noted that 94 percent of all gonorrhea cases occur among men and that the areas with the largest rates of the disease are located in Crown Heights, Chelsea, and Central Harlem. It is interesting to note that cases of gonorrhea in women have actually decreased by 4 percent in the city over the past year.

I get the idea behind the ad campaign, but wouldn’t it be better to nudge the same audience into practicing safe sex instead? After all, New York City gave away a whopping 38 million free condoms last year!

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