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BuzzFeed Video Tries to Normalize Sexually Transmitted Diseases

History books in the future are going to include the word "BuzzFeed" whenever the demise of the United States of America is mentioned. In their latest embrace of the destructively absurd, BuzzFeed has produced a short video about a young woman getting tested for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). (Note: The video uses the technically correct tag "STI" but I'm going to use the more commonly known colloquialism "STD.") Ali Vingiano, the video's producer, said in an interview with The Huffington Post that the purpose of the video is "to normalize how we talk about STIs, and the people we associate with having them." After bemoaning culture's perspective on STDs, she added, "We wanted to challenge that narrative and broaden our viewers [sic] ideas of what the reality of an STI looked like.”

In the video, the viewer is introduced to two friends on the way to the doctor's office so that one of them, named Amy, can get tested. At the doctor's office, Amy protests that she's not the type of person who gets STDs; after all, she's "only had sex with, like, five people, maybe six." The video goes on to show the aftermath as she waits to hear the news from the doctor's office. Attempting to cheer her up, Amy's friend tells her that an STD is "pretty bada**; it's like a sex wound." The scene ends with the assertion that, "It's normal; it happens all the time," followed up by a friendly comparison of the number of sex partners each friend has had.

When Amy tells her on-again-off-again boyfriend about her STD test, his normal, sane response is shamed by the video. Referring to him as an obscene body part, the friend tells Amy that "he doesn't deserve you." Bear in mind, the boyfriend's understandably concerned response was muted. He didn't mock her. He didn't scorn her. The implication is that he wants to remove the "on" part of the on-again-off-again boyfriend label. An understandable response, especially if he's not the one who gave the STD to her.

The short video closes the day after Amy goes on a date with a "cute" co-worker. The date went well, but she is assuming that he won't want to proceed with the relationship because of the STD. Amy's friend responds, "You don't have to date sh***y people because a sh***y thing might have happened to you. You deserve to be happy." She then hears from the "cute" coworker who wants to go on another date. In the next and final scene, Amy receives a phone call from her doctor. She answers the phone, and the video ends without providing an answer to the question of "does she have an STD or not?"