Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer assignments from ISIS-Inc.

The ISIS blog will be temporarily slowed down/inactive for the next three weeks because I'll be in India eating spicy food, battling the monsoon and taking train rides across the southern states.

So for now, I leave you with a short list of my favorite to-do suggestions:

1. ATTEND! We are now accepting abstracts for the January 2008 Sex::Tech conference which will focus on technology based STD and HIV prevention for youth and young adults. Currently you can register, submit an abstract, and tell a friend about the conference using our e-card. Stay tuned in the fall for more about our video contest which is sure to make a splash.

2. WATCH! The Midwest Teen Sex Show currently has three episodes, and serves up raucous commentary about such important issues as "The older boyfriend," "Abstinence," and "Masturbation." The site is for teens and adults and guaranteed to make you laugh/smile/crinkle your forehead. The comment threads are particularly great.

3. VOTE! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is running a revolutionary grantmaking contest focused on "disruptive innovations" designed to change the way health care is delivered. Voting for the final twelve will start in mid August. ISIS has submitted a proposal to get additional funding to expand, a service allowing people access to free STD and HIV testing. in San Francisco. Whether expanding makes the cut or not, aid this unique process and vote for your favorites!

4. EXPERIMENT! See what Cory Silverberg's sex position dolls, appropriately named A and B, are up to. You may find something nice to try.

5. COUNT! Securely keep track of who you've been having sex with using You can save contact information and details of the fun time you had, which will come in handy if you are ever diagnosed with an STI and need to notify your past partners., a peer to peer notification system, can help you take the leap.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 will challenge STD & HIV testing norms

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently threw a wrench in their grantmaking process with the advent of the Changemakers supported open source competition titled: Disruptive Innovations in Health and Health Care: Solutions people want.

ISIS has entered a proposal to expand to include gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV and herpes in addition to syphilis. will allow people to receive FREE STD and HIV testing by printing out a lap slip, going to a local test site and then retrieving results online. HIV results will be given over the phone. The service smashes barriers to sexual health care that many people experience...those who cannot afford basic tests or those who rather not speak to a doctor about their history will have access to the tests they need in order to know their STD and HIV status.

Please comment on the ISIS / proposal to keep the dialog going and attract attention to this crucial "disruption technology."

So far there are 150 amazing entries from 23 countries all aimed at transforming health care and health care delivery through technology. The entry period ends tomorrow (last chance to comment on the entries), followed by a four period week period where the finalists are narrowed down to 12. Then there will be a two week period ending Aug 29 with the announcement of the winners. $5,000 will be given to three winners, with the potential of 5 million dollars for the project(s) with the most potential impact.

Help make a winner!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Join us at Sex::Tech in 2008

ISIS is excited to announce the first conference focusing on technology and HIV/STD prevention for youth! Co-hosted by SFSU's National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC) and Institute for Next Generation Internet (INGI).

When: January 22-23, 2008 Downtown San Francisco
Why: To re-focus technology based prevention efforts for youth in exciting new ways!
Who: Sex::Tech 2008 will bring together young people as well as public health professionals, researchers, teachers, writers, tech industry folks and many more!

We are currently accepting abstracts and workshop proposals.

The conference is limited to 300 attendees, so make your move and register now! To guarantee a youthful presence, we're offering full-time students and people 25 and younger the stellar registration rate of 20 bucks!

Visit for full details, and tell a friend about Sex::Tech using our e-card feature. - mobile technologies / social change

SEXINFO, ISIS' groundbreaking text based referral service for youth has been prominently featured on Shareideas is a wiki (supported by Nokia and Vodafone) that chronicles mobile communication innovations being used for social and environmental change.

Please feel free to comment on the SEXINFO wiki entry.

Initially when I went to edit the entry it blocked me because the word 'sex' was used. Needless to say, this issue has been resolved. Phew!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

MyBlackBook popularity grows

I blogged this a while back, but it is really nice to see MyBlackBook catching on. 2032+ people have signed up to keep track of their sex lives. The site makes its purpose very clear:

"What happens if you find out you have an STD? How do you know who to notify? Well, some people, both male and female keep track of whom they have slept with either in a little diary or notebook. However, this has always posed a security flaw - what if someone finds it?? Well, MyBlackBook has solved that problem by creating The Internet's First Secure and Confidential Online Sexual History Tracker!"

It's free to sign up, and easy to add an entry or session. The pull down menus are pretty rigid in some categories (like you have to be male or female and either straight, bi or gay), but the each entry also gives plenty of room for embellishing, including over a dozen "activities" to select that you tried and also nearly a dozen sexual positions to choose from.

Two extra features stand out on this site.

1. VDNote provides a risk assessment as a percent chance that you will acquire each listed STI based on your personal entries. After entering one fictitious unprotected encounter where I "had anal sex" I had a 2.91% chance of getting herpes, 0.01% chance of getting syphilis, etc. Ther is a disclaimer, which I was relieved to see. I think the idea might help some realize their risk for STIs in general, but cannot paint a realistic picture of what to worry about. The site also does not mention HIV/AIDS.

2. Graphs provide a visual representation of your monthly sexual activity, hourly sexual activity (as in do you do it at night or in the morning?) and a pie chart of the sexual positions that you do. If these were constructed differently, or addressed different aspects of the sex you're having, then they could be better risk management tools. As they are now, they might just state the obvious right back to you. For example: yes I like 'reverse cowgirl' and yes, I like it in the morning.

The forums hold some gems, but the site could really pack a punch if they also talked about what to do with all the saved info if/when you do get an STI. I am making the suggestion to them. This is their chance to reach this particular record-keeping group.

Check out the press release.

Update: MyBlackBook now links to Yay!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Massmen vlogger shows some skin

Daniel, a Massmen blogger known for his chronicle of non-monogamy struggles and recovery from long distance hell, is taking a step by using video blogging for the first time. Meet Victor and hear a little about their trip to Montreal in this first episode:

Nico the Great, another blogger of ours, recently sero-converted. Lately he has been challenged by people with age assumptions and has been frustrated with guys' takes on online status disclosure.
Read: Age is deceiving? and Newbie HIV+ vs. Seasoned HIV+.