Hey teens! Take it from us, one-night stands with randoms from parties are totally fun until you accidentally contract an STI. To be fair, it happens to a lot of people—our government says that more than 70 percent of sexually active Canadians will contract a sexually transmitted HPV infection at some point. The thing is, having an STI isn't actually quite like those horror stories you've heard about green gloop and pissing blood.
The whole ordeal is really quite heavily stigmatized even though in all likelihood you or someone you know will or has experienced having an STI. Don't worry, some of the most common ones—such as chlamydia and gonorrhea—are curable and you can go back to your regularly scheduled sex life.
Most common of all, though, is HPV: In most cases, it doesn't cause negative effects on your health, yet it can cause genital warts and cancer. There's no approved test to find out if you have HPV, but there is a vaccine and you should get it.
This is all to say that making fun of people who have gotten an STI is an extremely shitty thing to do, but that doesn't mean we can't ask the hard questions to our government about how this meme-worthy ad—which was launched this week—came to be. So here we are:
Who are their parents? Did they consent to their kids doing this? And, if so, do they know what HPV is?
Was this supposed to come out on Valentine's Day, but got delayed by government bureaucracy and was reworked as a prom meme?
If so, was "roses are red, HPV causes cancer" ever a part of the ad copy?
Do these teen actors know they are going to be the national face of STIs? Like, do their contracts stipulate "You are totally going to be OK with your shitty friends STI-shaming you?"
Are there free HPV vaccinations at prom?
Seriously, WHY THE ROSES!?!
Why are they so happy? Are they happy because they have HPV? Are they happy because they're in love? Are they happy because they both have HPV and it really hurt their romantic life but then, in a stroke of luck, they found each other independently—like some sort of HPV rom-com?
Why does it look like HPV made this ad as a love letter to teens?
Is the government doing branded content for HPV?
Should we file an ATIP on the pitching process for this ad? (Editor's note: Yes.)
Was there a fierce debate between the 'STIs don't ruin your life' and 'STIs are terribbblllle' camps when it came to deciding on having the kids' smile?
Are they twins and who was born first?
Where do they get their brows done?
Did they use Snapchat to swap faces?
Why are they so fancy?
Why did they use European teens for a Canadian ad?
Do two people need to be in love for one to contract HPV?
Can you only contract HPV if you are white? Asking for a POC.
Did you tell the dude to wear a bowtie or did he volunteer to do that to himself?
I thought Gen Z didn't have sex and hated drinking and drugs and all that? Isn't it only the 'Greatest Generation' that is DTF now?
Did the feds just recycle a Harlequin teen cover and slap the HPV bit onto it? And if so, what is hiding behind that graphic?!
Was the soft light really that necessary?
WE REALLY NEED YOU TO TELL US WHY YOU PUT IN THE ROSES!?!