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Incentive Campaign for Getting Tested for Syphilis and HIV - Wal-Mart and McDonald's $10 Gift Cards

Posted Sep 24 2009 10:19pm

One county in North Carolina is trying this as a lure to remind people to get tested.  They state that due to rough economic times that people are image more likely to risky sex behavior as a way to cope.  The numbers in the county said cases have tripled over what they were last year, so perhaps the free meal for getting a test could really be a good thing to keep the awareness open.  Some stated that using fast food was not a good idea, but hey one fast food meal is better than the potential alternative here and it seems like a winner to me.  BD 

As syphilis cases skyrocket nationwide, health officials in North Carolina have taken up an unusual strategy for getting people tested: handing out Wal-Mart and McDonald's gift cards.

This year's economic downturn has led to the worst syphilis outbreak in decades, according to an MSNBC report. The problem has gotten image so bad in Forsyth County, North Carolina, that health officials have actually turned toward bribing people with free Wal-Mart and McDonald's gift cards in exchange for getting tested for the disease - with alarming success.

It has long been recognized that the venereal disease's outbreaks tend to coincide with periods of economic unrest. But why? Experts speculate that as times get tough, people are more likely to turn toward risky behavior and sexual promiscuity as a way to cope. 

Since the program has been initiated, the Forsyth County Department of Public Health has estimated that about half of the 603 people tested during the campaign were motivated by the Wal-Mart cards. In another campaign run by an STD awareness program called Get Real, Get Tested, also in North Carolina, gift cards for McDonald's were successfully used.

Wal-Mart and McDonald's gift cards used as a lure for syphilis testing | MNN - Mother Nature Network

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