Alberta, Canada, is facing outbreak levels of sexually transmitted infections: Last year in the province, gonorrhea was up 80 percent from the previous year, and syphilis infections rates doubled. So, obviously, the Alberta government blamed the spike in STIs on social media.
"We believe one of the key drivers in this particular spike in STIs is due to the use of social media to set up sexual encounters," said Dr. Karen Grimsrud, the Alberta chief medical officer of health, during a press conference.
Though Alberta has seen an increase across the board with STIs, gonorrhea and syphilis are of particular concern. Edmonton and Calgary have the highest rates of infection throughout the province for both. In 2015, there were 82 gonorrhea cases per every 100,000 Albertan, breaking peak infection rates set in the late 1980s. Over 350 cases of syphilis were also reported last year, surpassing a historic rate of infection set in 2009.
"We will be using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else comes along more intensely than we have… If we can identify the websites people are going to hook up, then we can target," said Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services (AHS).
We have a feeling the Alberta government would be pretty freaked out if it knew about the concept of sliding into DMs.
While the Alberta government identified the holy trinity of popular social media sites, they declined to mention dating apps such as the massive human petri dish Tinder, where people are much more likely to be looking for randoms to fuck rather than recent photos of old high school friends.
In order to target aforementioned millennial internet sex fiends, the Alberta government set up the delicately worded sexgerms.com. In addition to providing important info about accessing health services and the like, it allows you to push a button and generate a fake STI name on some sort of deranged slot machine-like tool: "Have you heard about dickgitis? What about vagfluenza, scrotoma, or buttholiosis? If you haven't, it's OK. There aren't a whole slew of new STIs for you to be worried about. Just new strains of the ones we've all come to know and fear."
Though the government hopes Sexgerms.com will encourage people to talk about STIs, we're not sure the word "poonereptus" is exactly a conversation starter.
Follow Allison Elkin on Twitter.