Monday, December 22, 2008

Internet-based Prevention Protocols Wiki - Style!

The National Guidelines for Internet Interventions have found their home on a wiki managed by consultant Stephan Adelson. The materials, the culmination of several long years of collecting, re-writing, updating and finessing, include documents and guidelines critical to those of us in public health using technology to prevent STDs and HIV.

Finally, all the good stuff together again in one place! Kind of like your dream version of the holidays. You have your Turkey (Executive Summary), your mashed potatoes (Guidelines for working with a variety of hook-up sites) and a variety of pies (freshly baked internet partner services guidelines) AND (hot off the rack Internet outreach guidelines).

And, most importantly, this wiki will not go down in history (like Columbus!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thin or Thick - let's let the ladies decide

I love reading the East Bay Express, although I almost never get around to reading it when it first hits the stands.

This particular story is about condoms - yes, that's right - the condom wars are on and hanging! No little thing (get it, "little thing") either, because this particular showdown is happening in our own backyard. Berkeley's own Mayer Laboratories Kimono Condoms are considered the #1 best thin condoms on the worldwide market- beating out long-time contenders Trojan and Durex.

So what's the big deal - thin condoms, thin crust pizza, I know what I like. What struck me as interesting was the way that Mayer Laboratories has positioned their product - they market the condoms towards a woman's sensibility. Whereas Trojan and Durex talk about "magnum XL" and "thick and ribbed", which make most men feel "powerful", Mayer actually takes a spin from a women's perspective. Women have ranked the light, silky and smooth feel of Kimono condoms superior to their old school competitors.

So whatcha say - if you're gonna wear a condom, and that goes for the ladies, too - since we have a few tricks down our pants as well (wink, wink) I would prefer thin, light and silky to ribbed and rugged - isn't the world a wonderful place - choice for the masses.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Redefine Abortion? Put Your Foot Down Via Online Petition

It's an epic bummer to realize that this new era of Obama led change that we've all been so looking forward to will be wrapped up with undoing the last 8 years of Bush era legislation – particularly around sex education and abortion rights.

Bush being the sneaky sneaky lame duck he is has tried to pass "a regulation establishing a 'right of conscience' allowing medical staff to refuse to participate in any practice they object to on moral grounds, including abortion but possibly birth control and other health care". Surprised? We're not.

Needless to say passing such legislation would be problematic for many, because who wants their doctor to have the ability to refuse an individual medical care based on their personal rather than professional objections? Let's fight back with the peeps over at Planned Parenthood Action Center by digitally signing and circulating this petition that aims to "Tell the Bush Administration to Keep its Word: Stop Efforts to Redefine "Abortion" to Include Birth Control".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Standing up for Women of the World

I would to introduce you to this phenomenal organization, FCI, Family Care International.

Founded in 1987 by Jill Sheffield, FCI has been focused on delivering quality maternal health care in countries where women are still second-class designates.

"FCI envisions a world where no woman suffers preventable injury or death from pregnancy or childbirth related causes, and in which all people are able to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights. "

FCI publishes workbooks and teaching materials on a variety of topics aimed at empowering women's sexual health rights and responsibilities. Some great tools here, CD-Roms and teaching manuals that bring to light the historical, political and religious influences that are impacting women around the world.

Wow! It always amazes me how women in the United States feel that we, as a group, have no voice or power. Take a trip to Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa (countries where FCI has offices) or any other third world country and truly have your eyes opened. I'm not even talking second class citizen, try maybe third or fourth class! And to think that we hear in the U.S. don't even realize how much work needs to be done to bring our sisters along side us.

FCI staffs eight field offices, and spends over two-thirds of its budget on strengthening reproductive health programs in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. FCI creates tools and resources to strengthen services in more than 100 countries.

FCI reminded me that we truly are a global village - that women everywhere are being compromised and yet we still persevere in spite of it all.....BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Student-Run, University- Based Sex Zines Say Wha?

The prevalence of university-based, student-run sex zines is on the rise. And we're thankful for it. Rice University via Open magazine (which also hosts some pretty steamy content) is just one of the few who have rolled out a "sex-trivia pub night" with the goal of getting students to talk honestly about their sexuality in a time where sexual health information is restricted by religious groups. Students break into teams and answer "erotically charged questions". The most sexually knowledgeable team wins a $20 tab at the on-campus, student-run hang out. How cool is that?

It's fair to say that we would love to see more of these sex trivia nights spring up on university campus' around the country, to not only get young people talking about their sexuality but to also engage them in a dialogue around sexual health. The more comfortable one is with their sexuality, the more at ease they feel when sexually based questions arise that need answers stat. We can only hope that more universities and their zines follow suit and drop us a line when they do!

Friday, December 5, 2008

In the Life (ITL-TV) pays homage to AIDS

On my never ending quest to entertain and inform, I got an email message giving me a heads up to a new public television program called In the Life - new to me that is.

Broadcast nationally for more than 16 years, IN THE LIFE has been a staple of public television. Since 1992 IN THE LIFE has been a essential tool for informing LGBT citizens, educating the broader public, and a vital contributor to the national dialogue on LGBT issues. Their mission is to reach the largest audience possible to educate, challenge, and inspire viewers from all walks of life.

This month's IN THE LIFE looks at the current state of HIV/AIDS and the continuing effort to educate and communicate the peril it still presents. The episode AIDS IS STILL A BIG DEAL arose out of the research of two NY Public Health professionals and New York University has produced an innovative web-based campaign telling the story of a young gay man in New York City who meets sex partners on the Internet.

A change in attitude can lead to a change in behavior. After watching the episode I realized how easy it is to "opt out" of being responsible for my own health. This segment really brought the message home, its my responsibility to ask what I need to know - to ensure I know my status is before I go any further than first base.

To find out the station and time IN THE LIFE airs on in your community, click here. Check it out, there are episodes from past shows as well and who knows, you might even find yourself going to changing your attitude as to how you handle your affairs.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Microsoft Helps Teachers Get Digital

The classroom is often the site for stimulating innovation but unfortunately the tools used are not that innovative. Kids are beyond bored by the current teaching methods and are prohibited from using their cell phones, laptops and other emerging tech goodies that are components of their daily lives. Instead of banning technology from classrooms, teachers and administrators from preschool to college should consider integrating it as education aids since they are platforms that kids and young adults feel the most at home and engaged with, especially when it comes to sex education.

Microsoft explored how schools are failing to adapt to their students’ digital lifestyles at their School of the Future World Summit in Seattle. Microsoft also showed off some of their projects that aim to remedy the digital disconnect, like their “content-creation tools” for teachers to assemble digital content for students and a Surface tabletop computer that could revolutionize how information is presented and absorbed.

Microsoft’s School of the Future World Summit has planted the seeds to get educators thinking about embracing technology in the classroom. Imagine if homework assignments could be sent from the teachers “content-creation tool” directly to youth’s cell phones (so there’s no excuse for them not to get their assignments done) or if they could display critical sexual health information and diagrams on those sexy Surface tabletop computers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sexual Literary 101- check out SexSmartFilms!

Lookie here! The sexual revolution has finally come full circle with the newest addition to the Internet, SexSmartFilms. SexSmartFilms promotes online sexual literacy. The website boasts: "Imagine having access to a constantly updated digital warehouse of sexuality education, research, and therapy films from the past 70 years. That describes SexSmartFilms."

Founded in 2008 by Dr. Mark Schoen, who was also a presenter at the ISIS Sex::Tech 2008 conference (don't miss Sex::Tech 2009 scheduled for March 22-23), he has collected hundreds of rarely seen or heard of sex education training videos that were produced for the U.S. military, sexual health professionals and educators. These short films/videos are now available to download and view at little or no charge. The underlying theme is that all of the shorts are "educational tools" and can be used by educators, health care professionals, corporations or just curious folk for relevant content on sexual health issues.

SexSmartFilms actually provides the context for the films listed. That is, there will be pre and post viewing suggestions along with a brief synopsis that includes the appropriate audience for any title viewed.

You can either purchase a "monthly viewing plan" that gives you access to the entire video library, including some classic U.S. military shorts on STD prevention for our WWII boys; or, watch the "free" videos. All the videos are categorized by topic, and there are over 20 "channels" from which to choose.

SexSmartFilms also aquires videos and is currently looking for either amateur or professional media.

Take a look, you will DEFINITELY learn something - the feature video this week is The Internal Clitoris with Betty Dodson and I learned a heck of a lot in 3 minutes!


Friday, November 21, 2008


Computer nerds unite! An extensive study by UC Irvine researcher Dr. Mizuko Ito found that teens using the Internet are not only excelling in meeting the requirements of new technology, but are improving their social and networking skills as well. And all those parents that thought little Timmy needed monitoring are just wrong, wrong, wrong.

The three-year study interviewed over 800 youth and their parents and monitored over 5000 hours of on-line social networking communities. What Dr. Ito and her team discovered was that today's youth are facing a completely different type of socialization than their parents, where the virtual world of technology can enhance "self-directed" learning - i.e., youth can choose what they want to learn about, in an inf0rmal, tailored manner. By pursuing their own interests, youth can find social networks with like interests that serve as tutors, helping to enhance the learning experience and empower the user. "Ito and her team of researchers found that participation in the digital age means more than being able to access serious online information and culture. Youth using new media often learn from their peers, and notions of expertise and authority are being redefined."

The prevalent thought of parents today is that spending too much time on the computer will create social isolation have been proven false. Come to find out that there are two distinct "types" of internet use: friendship-driven and interest-driven. In fact, the study goes on to state that as opposed to youth learning from one source (school teacher in a static setting), the advent of the internet as a learning tool is allowing youth to branch out far beyond their geographical location, literally increasing their social circle on a global scale.

So Mom, Dad - next time you think your kid(s) are just "wasting their time" surfing the 'net - don't be alarmed, whether they know it or not, they are really enhancing their technical and social skills to fit tomorrow's needs. But don't tell them that - it wouldn't be cool.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mobile Gaming For Change

Everyone and their mom has a mobile device in their pocket with a variety of games on it (even if they don’t know it). Now imagine if those games were used to increase awareness around important social issues, like, say, HIV/AIDS.

Freedom HIV/AIDS is maximizing the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices by creating the first ever initiative on HIV/AIDS awareness using mobile phones games.

Believe it or not, games are an effective way of spreading messages and generating awareness by the “play and learn” method, which makes absorbing new information fun and engaging, while also helping retention.

Freedom HIV/AIDS has four mobile games targeting different mindsets and psychology of mobile users on an array of devices with high end and low end displays for accessibility to consumers at every price point.

You can read about the games and their mechanics in detail here. So far there have been 10.3 million downloads since the initiatives’ launch in December 2005. This is one of the largest ever social initiatives on mobile devices and is an amazing, fun, convenient and semi private way to learn about HIV/AIDS issues from the palm of one’s had.

We can only hope that other health initiatives expand their education outreach into the realm of mobile games in an effort to reach a larger demographic.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A cure for AIDS? A German Doctor thinks yes

I was surfing the 'net yesterday and came across an astonishing article about a U.S. citizen living in Germany who was diagnosed with leukemia and AIDS was cured of both!

The patient had prior treatment for his leukemia which failed. His physician, Dr. Gero Hütter, tried a second treatment, a bone marrow transplant using a molecule called CCR5. CCR5 acts as a kind of door for the virus. Since most HIV strains must bind to CCR5 to enter cells, the mutation bars the virus from entering. About 1% of Europeans, and even more in northern Europe, inherit the CCR5 mutation from both parents. People of African, Asian and South American descent almost never carry it. The bone marrow transplant was a success and for the last 600 days no AIDS virus has been detected in the patient's blood cells.

This treatment may lead to gene therapy as the solution to curing HIV and AIDS, which is a whole different argument, as gene therapy is a lot riskier than antiviral treatment.

Let's just hope we are that much closer to finding a cure - for all, for good.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Is this what they meant by meet me under the rubber tree?

There must be something said for creativity - sexual and otherwise! Check out this article on how non-profits and condom companies are "expanding" there outreach in countries that are not "big" on safe sex practices.

In Ethiopia, which currently accounts for 10 percent of the world's total HIV/AIDS infections, DKT International, has distributed "coffee-condoms that actually smell like a macchiato, an espresso with cream and sugar - trying order one of those at Starbucks!

In order to reach young men in Western Australia, health care professionals hang condom-filled cannisters from trees for the youth to retrieve - hopefully the branches are low enough for the shorter folks!

In all, these novel approaches point to the fact that prevention is only as effective as access. Social stigmas and religious taboos create an impasse in many countries, including our own. Thanks to these organizations to have the foresight and wherewithall to meet the needs of the people on their own terms.......heck, some of those ideas would work well right here in the Bay Area!

There is no effectiveness data that I could find on these practices, but I will keep looking for updates and write about anything I find that provides feedback on how well these attempts are working.......

Have a blessed weekend and be the change you want to see in the world!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Channel 4 and Embarrassing Teenage Bodies

In an earlier post I went on and on about this great UK based online sex education show called obviously enough The Sex Education Show. After doing a little more digging on the host site, Channel 4, I found the "Embarrassing Bodies" section. The idea behind the section and its accompanying webisodes (Called "Am I Normal") is to remind you not to let embarrassment stop you from keeping your body healthy. The Am I Normal webisodes are frank open and honest. What I think is most helpful and informative about them is that if they are talking about a penis, they will show you a penis. When they try to assure the viewer that there is a wide range of normal for a vagina they show you actual vaginas representing that range. They've just blown past innuendo and started talking facts. I love the Brits!

Check out the info video:

Am I normal penis:

Am I Normal Vagina

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BRAVO study participants can earn $155!

BRAVO - a new study on Women's Reproductive health was recently launched by the San Francisco Public Health Department. Eligible participants receive a miniumum of $155.

The BRAVO study focuses on young women between the ages of 18 and 25 who have bacterial vaginosis (BV). Even though BV is NOT a sexually transmitted infection, it can lead to vaginitis (vaginal irritation, abnormal odor and abnormal discharge). If all this sounds like way too much information (TMI), just think about how much PREVENTION can begin once this study gets underway (and more funding for women's health period!)

Eligibility:18-25 years of age - Not pregnant - Currently sexually active - Screen positive for asymptomatic BV (not a transmitted infection).

The aim of the study is to learn more about and identify BETTER ways to keep young women healthy and reduce sexually transmitted infections.

Sign-up information can be found on Craig's List or by emailing

Check out the info and let your female friends and family know about BRAVO - the best prevention is protection!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wow inSpot Wow!

I am declaring this week inSpot week in the ISIS office. And you know that inSpot has to up to something big to get this title so early in the week! First, on Monday Plos Medicine, a peer reviewed open access journal, published an article on inSpot. Click here to read it! Now, inSpot is getting some heavy attention from major media players.

Check out these links:
inSpot on ABC News
inSpot on MSNBC
inSpot on CNN Health

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Announcing the new ISIS myspace page

Internet Sexuality Information Systems, Inc. (ISIS) is excited to announce the launch of our new MySpace page!

Definitely check out the site to hear and see the latest and greatest ways to practice safe sex and find answers to sexually related questions that you might not be able to ask any of your friends or family.

We showcase some of the winners of the Fresh Focus Sex Ed Video Contest as well as the winners of some of our latest contests and the messages are tight. There are photos from the 2008 Sex::Tech Conference held in San Francisco and the latest info on what ISIS is getting ready to launch in the coming months.

We hope you enjoy and visit often, tell your friends to log on as well.

See you soon!


AfroPeruvian Queen


AfroPeruvian Queen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sexperience: A New Online Sex Education Show

The Sexperience starts off by warning visitors that "This site features very frank and occasionally explicit accounts of personal experiences of sex -- parental guidance is recommended." What follows are 6 episodes of The Sex Education Show, which talks about sex in the most frank and honest way I've seen in a long time. In the first episode a few young men openly acknowledged that most of the information they know about sex comes directly from porn. The kids talk about how friends share sexually explicit content via cell phones and myspace and how readily available this content is to them. The show then goes on to prove a poignant and valuable point. They show young men pictures of penises varying in size and asked the boys to pick out the average size penis for a British male. It turns out that the boys picked a penis that was 2 inches bigger than average. They had a similar test for breasts and without fail the kids picked the surgically enhance breasts as average. It was really amazing to watch the kids begin to understand that their views of average and how they saw their own bodies had been skewed by porn and advertising. And this was just episode 1!

The Sex Education Show
is awesome, in a time where porn is ubiquitous you have to make good information frank and maybe sometimes down right explicit to get the point across. Innuendo and vague references will not do.

Check out The Sex Education Show!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Don't Try and Hide the Digital Divide

On the other side of the pond, the U.K. to be exact, an innovative look at a major social dysfunction is being tackled by a cohort of like-minded techies. Digital Inclusion a non-profit organization based in the U.K. has created a very interesting video on what the "digital divide" really means on a global scale.

Not surprising, the one in five of us, worldwide, who live "without" technology, i.e., Internet access, cell phones, GPS systems, ATM machines -are the poorest and least educated.

And the fact that technology is increasingly taking over public agencies that serve this population is even more disturbing, even though the agencies themselves are increasing productivity once they "find" the unwired population.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Goverment uses Facebook to spread safe sex message

Check out this project of the Queensland Government. They're using Facebook, Myspace and other internet sites, as well as bars and local pubs to advertise their new safe sex campaign,"Safe Sex. No Regrets." I think its pretty great that virtual spaces are starting to get similar attention as real spaces. I mean there really isn't that much difference, virtual or not people hang out and meet folks there.

Read full article here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SF City Clinic and ISIS get Kudos from NY Times!

Responding to the overwhelming amounts of health information on the web and the difficultly this creates in distinguishing between accurate and inaccurate information, the Ny Times health section put together a list of the "six of the most interesting and potentially useful online health resources." ISIS is proud that not only made the cut but is number 3 on the list! We, here at ISIS worked hard in partnership with SFDPH on the site design and content development for So, thank you Ny Times for the nod!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gamer Youth do More Good for the World

A national survey about teen gaming trends has had some surprising results. The study, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and supported by the MacArthur Foundation looked at the varied experiences of young gamers and the social impressions that gaming can leave.

For just a taste, here are some tidbits:
76% of teens play games with others at least some of the time
44% of teens play games where they learn about societal issues
52% of teens play games where they need to think about moral and ethical issues

And..."the survey indicates that youth who have these kinds of civic gaming experiences are more likely to be civically engaged in the offline world. They are more likely than others are to go online to get information about current events, to try to persuade others how to vote in an election, to say they are committed to civic participation, and to raise money for charity."

Want to read more?
The press release
The full survey report (PDF)
MacArthur grantmaking in digital media and education

Thursday, September 25, 2008 is making a splash in San Francisco

Check out our fearless leader on one of her recent related TV interviews!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

City’s Newest STD Resource Offers Online Testing

Check out what is new with ISIS! We are super excited about the launch of our new project!

City’s Newest STD Resource Offers Online Testing

Everyone Can “Pay it Forward” While “Playing It Safe”

San Francisco, CA – San Francisco STD officials will unveil the City’s newest system to ensure that San Francisco residents have better access, greater convenience, and easier choices in personal STD testing for people at risk for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV and herpes.

A confidential online testing resource,, is a collaboration between Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (ISIS) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health - STD Prevention and Control. It will be presented Wed. Sept. 24, 11:30 a.m. at Gotham Tattoo Parlor (3991 17th St. at Market), one of seven participating lab testing locations.

Through, individuals print their own lab slips and locate a nearby testing site to provide their samples. Test results then arrive within three to five days, accessible online by a unique identifier (PIN). HIV test results are delivered on the phone by a trained counselor. The Department of Public Health will ensure all persons who test positive for an STD receive information on treatment options as soon as possible, whether through City Clinic or their own healthcare provider.

“ demonstrates an effective partnership to match new technology and creative resources with local prevention, testing and treatment options, particularly for gay men and young adults,” said Deb Levine, ISIS Executive Director. “Providing accessible and free tools that empower people to take charge of their own sexual health is key in reducing disease in our community.”

After several years of declining syphilis rates in San Francisco, the number of reported cases of early syphilis for the first half of 2008 was 274, up nearly 35% compared to the same period in 2007. In 2007, 595 cases of rectal chlamydia and 494 cases of rectal gonorrhea were diagnosed among men who have sex with men in the city, while the rate of chlamydia among African-American adolescents was over 7 times that of white adolescents.

Through a safe, easy, and secure online payment mechanism, users can “Pay it Forward”-- donating a test to family, friends, loved ones, or someone in need-- allowing the entire community to benefit from information and services available.

“While frequent testing for individuals can ensure individual sexual health and disease prevention, we also recognize most testing services do not come without a price,” said Levine. “We remain committed to offering for free to any San Francisco resident in need of testing, especially those reluctant or unable to seek medical care for STDs, relying upon community generosity instead of usage fees." In-kind services have already been donated by Paypal, and a starting “Pay it Forward” donation from an anonymous funder.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chilean Youth Express Themselves via Photosharing Site

Last week there was an article in the New York times called In a Tangle of Young Lips, a Sex Rebellion in Chile. The article outlines how Chile, previously one of "Latin America's most sexually conservative countries," has recently become a hot bed of sweaty teens that dance and grind and make out publicly--- a lot. There seems to be a cluster of reasons for the so called sexual explosion: the coming of democracy after Pinochet's reign, lack of proper sex education and Apparently, teens arrange large scale parties on this site and then post pictures of their escapades. I don't know... metaphorically speaking it seems that sites like are the hammers that built the house and you can't very well blame the tool for junky architecture.
What is really interesting to me about the article to me were Dr. Arias comments:
Dr. Arias did a study of the Fotolog phenomenon, scrutinizing the kinds of photos teenagers are posting, even the angles and distances of the pictures — all of which are part of an “identifiable” language, he said. “The kids of today are expressing their sexuality in erotic ways for the whole world to see.”
It seems really intriguing to think of the images that kids post as a common language. It could be really interesting to see how norms are set, defined and then followed. I'm not advocating teenage public promiscuity for research purposes, but I am interested in how kids think about sex and talk about it with each other.

Friday, September 12, 2008

ISIS Animation

I thought it might be a nice change to do an ISIS process blog. We always have a lot of balls in the air around here. We're really lucky around here and get to work on amazing projects that tend to have creative and fun aspects to them. We are currently working with several partners on a research project that will live in Myspace. Basically, we are trying to harness and shape the power of web 2.0 represented by the communicative powers of Myspace to get people talking about sexual health and HIV. And the interesting kicker is that the research limb of this project will try to measure the effects.

For the project we are creating an animation that will be sort of a serial drama. So far the process of creating this has been a fun challenge for me. I started pretty green, with very little knowledge of the world of animation- don't get me wrong I love cartoons but I didn't know what we into developing them. We found an amazing company to work with Rudner Design Works and they are helping us put the pieces together. They are slowly pulling images out of my head and putting them on paper. I even got to write my first ever script! Check out the first images for the first installment of the series.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Planned Parenthood takes care of your down theres

Planned Parenthood wowed me today. I saw Take Care Down There for the first time this morning and gobbled up all 9 of the videos. TCDT addresses sexual health issues that are important to young people, while making solid fun of 'adults'...while trusting that, yeah, sometimes they do have good answers.

The short starburst-y clips touch on masturbation, queerness, communication in bed and include simple messages like "women should get tested once a year, and men should get tested before starting a new relationship." And while that's pretty basic, it's also pretty dang palatable.

There is also an amazing song which includes lovely names for our mentionables like, furry pink canoe, hum diddler, panty hampster and love-log.

Oh, and the site has a handy zip code search for a clinic near you along with a check list of what to bring with you ('friend' makes the list) and an ask a nurse function.

Grand slam. I dig it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

inPrivate on the new IE8

Last week Microsoft released their biggest Internet Explorer update since 2006, IE8 Beta. One of the new features that has folks smiling and sheepishly looking at the floor is "InPrivate" mode, that has been affectionately dubbed "Porn Mode." InPrivate or Porn Mode lets you tread the dark corners (well all corners) of the Internet stealthily, with out leaving a trace on your computer. The official jargon behind the idea is that you can buy gifts for your spouse without them accidentally stumbling upon the Amazon purchase page. Or you can buy those special romantic concert tickets on a shared computer without your browser's history giving you away.
Um...sure that's what people will use it for...
Sure you could use this to hide gifts and plans to surprise your mate but really, more often than not, folks will probably use this feature to cruise and surf porn sites in inappropriate places (or on borrowed computers)with impunity. Or play games at work. Haha the things we will do when no one is watching. But be careful if you work at a large company because even if your cookies aren't stored on your computer you can still be tracked through your company's server.
If this feature catches on (Firefox and Safari have something similar) it could prove disaterous to small internet sites that use advertisement as their main source of revenue. This new feature blocks the data tracking cookies that allow advertisers to track your browsing habits. I'm ok with that I think...

IE8 Beta

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ez Texting makes group texting a snap

Ez Texting is a new, easy to use group texting platform ripe for the picking. The platform is easy to use (I signed up for a trial in like 5 seconds) and is much less costly that other offers out there (2.5 cents per message). Ez Texting also offers two-way text which infinitely increases the type of work you can do with it.

It's simple: Sign up. Upload the numbers of the people you want to reach. Compose. Blast off!

The folks at Ez Texting suggest that their program could be used in schools to send out important messages to students; for real estate agents wanting to keep their clients up to date with new listings; or for event promotion and group data gathering.

Potentially a great solution for non-profits on a budget or just individual networking. With so many platforms springing up its hard to know which to try. Nice that Ez Texting offers a free trial to the curious.

Happy Friday folks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Teen Health Info 24/7

United Kingdom-based Web site is making interesting strides towards providing teens with accurate and age appropriate health information.

The site has a "diary"
of a hypochondriac 15-year-old boy. This totally caught my eye and I thought it could be a cool way to convey information. But I must admit the "diary" leaves a little to be desired. The "diary" needs to go further and put a little more trust in readers. Kids are smart and mature and they can smell an adult trying to speak their lingo a mile away. The site also has a forum for young people to e-mail health-related questions and receive answers from a health expert. There is also a companion site,that contains videotaped interviews with young people talking about their lives and health concerns. Some of the videos are tapes of actors which is a little dissapointing but maybe they are just seeding the site to get the ball rolling.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mobile games about HIV/AIDS expanded to Africa

ZMQ, a company that has had a lot of success creating mobile games in India, has expanded four of their HIV/AIDS education games to African networks, including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia.

ZMQ has a very forward thinking model, "The company is also focused on developing innovative ICT products for new markets of the world at the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid by successfully reaching out to grass-root, under-privileged, and marginalized communities; based on viable and self-sustaining business models in support of the social cause."

With a partnership with a major mobile operator in India, ZMQ was able to offer the gaming tools to the public for free of charge.

One of the games is based on Cricket, super popular in India. It works in items like condoms or faithful characters to move game play along.

For an expanded case study see ShareIdeas, a fast growing wiki that showcases mobile projects with social agendas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CondomCondom: A New Multimedia Campaign to Promote Condom Use in India

The BBC World Trust has put together an interesting and rounded multimedia campaign called CondomCondom. The CondomCondom campaign sprinkles whimsy and humor on a difficult subject- condom use- and makes it not only palatable but entertaining and fun. They have even made a CondomCondom ringtone. The ringtone is a medly of people singing the condom over and over again. The description doesn't do it justice because really after a minute it just makes you giggle. I think making people laugh could go a long way toward changing attitudes towards condoms. The project was supported by National AIDS Control Organisation and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

View and Vote - top Teensource condom designs!

The California Family Health Council's 2008 Condom Cover Art Contest is underway, and the clock is ticking to choose your favorites from the top 45 entries on the TeenSource contest hub.

The contest was designed to give young adults the opportunity to educate their peers about STDs through art. Participants aged 13-25 sent in their creative ideas and are in the pool for one of 6 $500 awards that will be presented at an upcoming press conference in Los Angeles.

Voting ends September 2, and trust me, it isn't easy to choose. Vote now!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Whyville is Once again Ripe Testing Groud

Whyville is a popular online community for younger teens, loosely centered on science and exploration. Like any cluster of pre-teens and teens (physical or virtual) Whyville is full of persona testing and attempts to form and understand community. Whyville seems like amazingly interesting groud to study how pre-teens and teens share information and what information they share in this world of UGC. Check out this study by Professors at USC and the University of Pennsylvania. They are using Whyville as a case study to research "tweens and reproductive health in virtual worlds."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Civic Engagement on the Move and SexINFO

The Aspen Institute recently published Civic Engagement On The Move, a report of the roundtable on Mobile Media and Civic Engagement. SexInfo is included as a case study of Civic and Engagement and the New Mobile Activism.

(Quoted From the Aspen Institute's summary of the book)
Civic Engagement on the Move looks at how leading edge practitioners are using mobile media to engage citizens to solve problems, bridge differences and strengthen community. Mobile media technologies provide new tools for journalists, government and nonprofit agencies, civic organizers, elected officials, activists and ordinary citizens to inform, to reach out to others and to galvanize community action on a wide range of issues. Civic Engagement on the Move, written by J.D. Lasica, details the hallmarks of successful mobile campaigns around civic engagement and provides case studies of several successful and emerging initiatives, including those that came out of the recent Aspen Institute Roundtable on Mobile Media and Civic Engagement. Noted experts in the field add their insights on using mobile media, with a list of “Mobile Advocacy Dos and Don’ts” by Katrin Verclas of MobileActive and “A Mobile Media User’s Guide” by Jed Alpert, CEO of Mobile Commons.

Click here to read the report online and here to download a pdf

Friday, July 18, 2008

U.S. Teens Have More STDs

Everything is bigger in the U.S. Yes, we need 22 ounces of coffee, yes please super size that, yes my mc-mansion can eat your mc-mansion. But the substantial size gap between the pregnancy rate of U.S. teens is frightening when compared to the pregnancy rates of other industrialized nations.

Check out the results of Advocates for Youth and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte sponsored annual study tour. The tours go to France, Germany, and the Netherlands to explore why adolescent sexual health outcomes are so much more positive in the three European countries than in the U.S.

Here are some staggering facts:


In the United States, the teen syphilis rate is over six times higher than that of the Netherlands, over five times higher than the rate in former West Germany, and nearly three times higher than that in former East Germany. Data are not available for France.


In the United States, the teen gonorrhea rate is over 74 times higher than that in the Netherlands and France, over 66 times higher than the rate in former West Germany, and over 38 times higher than that in former East Germany.


In the United States, the teen chlamydia rate is over 20 times higher than that in France. Data are not available for Germany or the Netherlands.

These statistics combined with the fact that both teens in Europe and The U.S. start having sex at roughly the same time seems to clearly point out that our all or nothing attitude is not serving our teens well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

HIV is Still a big deal!

Check out episodes 1 & 2 of HIV Big Deal, Public Health Solutions' HIV prevention project for gay

The Morning After, Episode 1:

The Test, Episode 2:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Underwear and Sex::Tech '09!

We asked people "what would your undies say if they had the last word" in safe sex and STI prevention. As it turns out our undies had a lot to say because the 500+ entries to the campaign gave them a voice. These undies have spread across the Internet and along with them ideas of safe sex, STI prevention and all around healthy attitudes toward sex are reaching viral proportions. The 500+ entries have gotten over 650,000 engagements through votes, views, reviews and content created and entries can be seen in close to 700 different places online. I'm attaching the full press release and an image of our winning pair!

With the success of this contest, we at ISIS, were again reminded of the need to talk to young people about sex and sexual health.
We see that the Internet and mobile technologies have strengthened youth networks, provided new avenues for expression, and increased youth access to tools and information designed to improve their sexual health. ISIS would like to announce that the second Sex::Tech conference will be held March 22 & 23 in San Francisco. Sex::Tech will explore available tools and methods for reaching youth with culturally appropriate STD/HIV prevention and sex education interventions from a youth perspective, with input from public health professionals, educators, researchers, and technology developers.

Here is a little bit about the winners of the inBrief underwear design contest:

  • Grand Prize winner Tina Nguyen (Pomona, CA) designed Riding Safely, a line of men's and women's underwear that lets partners know they need a ticket to ride. Ms. Nguyen will receive $1000 (scholarship or cash equivalent) and 12 pairs of women's underwear with her design.

  • Image Buzz winner Dan Brown (Corvallis, OR) designed The Real Reason Dinosaurs Went Extinct, that ponders what if dinosaurs knew about safe sex? Dan will receive $250 (scholarship or cash equivalent) for the best entry among the top 100 generating the most attention across the Internet as determined by the ISIS expert selection panel.

  • Community Sweepstakes winner Chrissy Olsen (Muncie, IN) will receive $250 (scholarship or cash equivalent) from among everyone participating in the contest in any way (whether viewer, reviewer, or voter) as selected by Brickfish.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

FrontlineSMS Empowers People Around the Globe has announced the release of the latest version of FrontlineSMS, a highly versatile, two-way group messaging system. Ken Banks, Kiwanja founder and originator of the FrontlineSMS concept says, "This new release has been a year in the making, and is the result of over two years worth of feedback from the NGO community. Not only is this an exciting day for us, but also for the countless grassroots NGOs out there who desperately need this kind of technology to help them make the first step onto the mobile technology ladder."

So what is Frontline SMS?
It basically turns a labtop and a mobile phone or modem into a communications hub. It runs on a laptop without the internet, so it is perfectly suited for mass communications in areas of the world where internet is unreliable and electical power often fails.

With FrontlineSMS, free to NGOs in developing countries, people can send messages, conduct surveys and orchestrate two-way communications campaigns with ease.

So far FrontlineSMS has been used by organizations in over forty countries for causes as different as healthcare worker coordination, election monitoring and market pricing for rural farmers and fishermen. The online tour takes you through the intuitive system and illustrates the just how easy (AND POWERFUL!) it is.

Yay FrontlineSMS!! Access meets elegance!!

ISIS Selected for BAVC Nonprofit Institute

ISIS has been selected to participate in the first Nonprofit Institute for New Media Applications hosted by the Bay Area Video Coalition! The institute will bring together 10 organizations to dream up new ways of incorporating mobile and new media technologies into everyday operation.

So for 6 intensive days over a three-week period in July, we will be immersed in development/mentorship/prototyping and we get to cavort around with the other selected groups, including folks from ACLU, Hosteling International, CEO Women, Center for Asian American Media, Youth Together and more!

Two special industry guests include Katrin Verclas, queen of all things mobile, and Beth Kanter, the last word in nonprofit technology strategy.

We'll keep you updated here with how our prototyping project is coming along. All I can say at this point is: Yes, it will have to do with mobile. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

eTouch helps young people discuss touchy subjects

A new wireless, touch screen program has been piloted at National Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Researchers say that when young people answer questions using the device, risk of injury, depression and drug and alcohol use were more often identified by teens, thus opening the door for practitioners to discuss sensitive topics.

The system was more successful at identifying risky behaviors than were time-strapped doctors. Although neither report that I read (Columbus Dispatch or AMNews) talked about using the system for identify STD/HIV or sexual health risk taking specifically, it appears perfectly suited.

As long as privacy for young people can be assured as they are using the tool, and that doctors have alone time with their teen patients, the tool could definitely help open some doors for discussion. Family and peer support around sexual health are crucial to young people's decision making abilities, but there are growing technology trends (texting!) that encourage young people to take more control and get what they need in intimidating clinical settings.

Another Tech Mash-up for a Good Cause

What happens when you put the following groups in a (hypothetical) bag and shake it up real good?

The Partners:

MTV's Staying Alive Foundation is a multimedia HIV and AIDS prevention campaign and is itself a partnership between MTV Networks International, Family Health International, the Kaiser Family Foundation, UNAIDS, UNFPA.

Facebook Causes lets Facebook users show there support for causes and non-profits they care about by joining there pages and facilitating donations.

SpinVox is a platform that converts your voice into text. The cool thing about it is that you call into their line and speak your message and SpinVox can then post a text version of your spoken message to your blog, send a text to all your friends or update your social networking profile. So our knobby overworked fingers can take a break.

What comes out of that bag after a good shake is
Here is a little snippet from the press release:

MTV's Staying Alive Foundation, SpinVox and Causes on Facebook yesterday announced the launch of their joint campaign, 'Stand By What You Say'. The groundbreaking initiative encourages young people to speak openly about sex, sexual health and HIV/AIDS, with a view to increasing awareness and breaking down the stigma and discrimination which so often accompanies the disease.

The campaign uses SpinVox to convert the voice messages that people leave in to text. Those that speak up are then asked to bolster their support by pledging money to the Staying Alive Foundation, MTV's HIV and AIDS charity which allocates grants to youth-led organisations who work to raise awareness on a local, grass-roots level. SpinVox itself will be 'standing by what it says' to match funds raised to the value of $50,000.

Callers are greeted by 2008 Staying Alive Foundation Ambassador Kelly Rowland, who prompts them to leave a message at 513-729-6417. The voice messages are converted to text and posted on a bespoke Staying Alive Blog by SpinVox. Topics such as 'sex secrets,' 'one night stands' and 'condoms' will act as conversation starters and encourage debate among global youth audience. Different themes and questions will be posed throughout the campaign to keep the contributions

I think that anything that helps people speak positively about sex and their sexual health is a good thing.
And this is a really interesting tech twist. I don't know yet if speaking your message and then having it
converted to text is really better/different than typing. But I will keep watching and seeing what kinds of
messages come rolling in.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Arse Electronika

There are some moments that I love living in the bay area. Well, I love being in bay area all the time but there are some moments when this love is intensified. One of said moments was when I read about Arse Electronika 2008 Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?
Critical Perspectives on Sexuality and Pornography in Science and Social Fiction.

First my little nerdy heart just about jumped out of my chest with the Philip K. Dick reference, and then I read what they said about last years conference and I was sold.
"From the depiction of a vulva in a cave painting to the newest internet porno, technology and sexuality have always been closely linked. No one can predict what the future will bring, but history indicates that sex will continue to play an essential role in technological development."

I don't know where you'll be Sept 25-28th but I for one am crossing my fingers that I will be at Cellspace attending Arse Electronika!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance data for 2007 is available

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, YRBS for short, has been conducted every 2 years since 1991 and aims to describe the health related behaviors of high school students in the United States. This year for the first time some trend analysis is allowing us to see changes in risk behavior for three racial groups, African Americans, Hispanic or latinos and whites.

The study found decreases in key sexual risk behaviors among several groups:
  • Decreases occurred overall in the percentage of black students who has ever had sexual intercourse (66 percent in 2007; 82 percent in 1991); and who had sex with four or more people during their lifetime (28 percent in 2007; 43 percent in 1991.)
  • Decreases occurred in the percentage of white students who had ever had sexual intercourse - 44 percent in 2007; 50 percent in 1991; and who had had sex with four or more people in their lifetime - 12 percent in 2007; 15 percent in 1991.
Additionally, Latino students reported less exposure to comprehensive sex education that included information about HIV and AIDS, and also had lower rates of condom use than other groups. The telebriefing explains some of why this might be and makes for interesting reading.

You can read a transcript of the telebriefing from June 4th, and also check out fact sheets, methodology, comprehensive results, etc. And here is the press release for the boiled down version.

These data are an invaluable resource for anyone working on improving the health status of youth in this country.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Learned all I Know About Sex on YouTube

I found these two STD info videos on Youtube. I was struck by the difference in styles and as a result the difference in the quality of interaction. There seems to be an interesting lesson in a comparison of these two approaches.

While checking these out I was reminded that before I got my wisdom teeth pulled I looked the procedure up on youtube (this is a hilarious activity, I highly recommend it as a perfect time killer.) I was a little nervous about going under and went to youtube to have people tell me that it was going to be ok, for a community of sorts. I wanted to see people not unlike myself go through this procedure, come out unscathed and tell me a funny story about it. I have to believe that others are thinking along similar lines and go to Youtube (and every hub of UGC) as a link to a collective semi-anonymous friend. I had already seen the official medical videos about tooth extraction and went to youtube to hear from a friend. If you look in the comments of the first video there seems to be a friendly back and forth banter. It reminds me of people weighing out the value of some old folk wisdom. People are engaged with the information in a way that is not apparent in the second. Maybe the lesson for public health is that people are looking for friends to share info. and not always someone official behind a desk.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HIV and STD guessing games

I have two tidbits today:

The first is that in the UK you can now send in a picture of your STD symptoms using your cell phone or a digital camera and have a doctor look at them. In response you will receive advice, or if it's really obvious, a prescription via email. There's a fee...but if you're choosing this route over inaction it seems best to use a high res camera, rather than your cellphone camera!

Another new guessing game (with a much different purpose) is the mtvU project Pos or not. The site presents photos of people and a little information about them. Then you are supposed to guess whether or not the person is HIV+. After guessing you get see if you were right. After several guesses you are given a zip code search box so that you can find a testing site in your area. Perhaps not being able to guess others' status reminds us that we don't always know our own.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court overturns Prop 22

"in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples"

Same-Sex Marriage in California

Thursday, May 8, 2008

United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation help expand the mobile revolution

Mobile Technology for Social Change

ISIS is proud to be included in the report produced by the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation titled Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use.

The forward authored by Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin, and United Nations Foundation Chairman Ted Turner, underlines the critical time we are in; a turning point for how technologies, particularly mobile networks, are connecting critical health systems and slashing away at digital divisions around the globe.

The report showcases 11 mobile projects from around the world and shares the results of a global survey about how NGOs are using mobile technologies.

So, put up your feet, grab a hot chocolate (or an iced tea depending on where you are) and learn about how mobile phones are helping to improve HIV/AIDS care, conserve the environment and wildlife, reach youth with sexual health information, prevent violence, connect clinics and rural health care workers, deliver food in war zones...and so much more.

Big smiles.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My avatar really thought your avatar was charming but...

Forgive me if I cast a skeptical eye towards Its a free dating service that allows members to browse profiles in the traditional way, but then here is the extra special hook, instead of trading emails or meeting in person you can ask people on a virtual date. Apparently, avatars can flirt, blow kisses and roll their eyes etc. Is it just me or is something weird about gussying up your avatar and sending them on a hot date with the avatar of your potential new love while your actual self is sitting in a dinner stained t-shirt and ill fitting sweat pants. I know, I know, I'm a little jaded but really I have a hard time seeing how 2 idealized versions of self meeting in some idealized realm can equal love in the plain old real world. It is the same reason The Bachelor never actually marries the final rose recipient(yes, I know except for Kristin and Ryan, but thats different.) For more info check out this article, it seems that people disagree with me.

Also, the feelings of intimacy (if there could be any) one might feel after allowing their avatars to pour out digitized versions of heart felt emotion probably won't translate to the real world and that reminded me about this video about texting and love.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Textual harassment in schools

The New York times reported today that over 35 percent of kids aged 11 to 18 have been sexually harassed. Boys and girls report similar levels but girls and sexual minorities suffer harsher consequences of this harassment. And it's not new to hear that besides verbal and physical abuse, young people are being sexually harassed on websites and by text message.

How have social networking sites and text messaging allowed bullies to get away with more? The schools are legally bound to protect their students from sexual harassment, but is the virtual nature of harassment sliding under the radar?

Regardless, how can young people protect themselves? Unlike a pinch in the hallway, news of a nasty Myspace comment can spread really fast. A devastating text message can come in during a class leaving us alone with our phones.

Some sites allow us to block or erase comments. We can take people off of our gchat list, we can defriend the person or erase their phone number from our vast collection. And we can tell someone and ask for support.

For more about the recent rise in cyber-bullying the New York Times also published this solid article. See also, this special edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Or the CDC's set of youth violence prevention resources.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Panel debates effectiveness of abstinence education April 24, 2008

Dear Magic Eightball,
Will abstinence only education ever end?
Resopnse: Out look is cloudy

By Cheryl Wetzstein
A House hearing on the effectiveness of abstinence education loosed a flurry of statistics, studies and anecdotes, but concluded yesterday with little movement on the contentious issue.

"Maybe we should just have a block grant" and let states use sex education funding for the kind of programs they want, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, said near the end of the four-hour hearing.

The "let the states choose" idea followed powerful testimonies from three panels of witnesses, including one composed of leading medical and public health officials.

Republicans complained that the hearing was lopsided, but the three witnesses who supported abstinence - Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican; researcher Stan Weed; and Charles Keckler of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - were assisted by friendly comments and questions from numerous Republican committee members who made a point of staying at the hearing.

Most of the health professionals argued that since major studies have not found abstinence education to be effective in changing teens' behaviors, the federal government should stop funding it and instead fund more-effective comprehensive sex education.

Mr. Weed and others brought up successful abstinence findings, and noted that pervasive sex and AIDS/HIV education, which stresses condom use, haven't blunted the nation's growing sexual disease epidemic.

Two witnesses - Max Siegel and Shelby Knox - testified to the harmful effects of abstinence education. Mr. Siegel, 23, said he contracted AIDS from his first sexual experience.

"I took out a condom but he ignored it," he said of his older male partner.

"I knew enough to suggest a condom," Mr. Siegel said, but because abstinence education didn't address the issue, "I had no idea how to discuss condoms with my partner."

Ms. Knox said officials in her Texas school stressed virginity pledges, but in reality, children took the vows because of peer pressure and then felt guilty when they had sex. Children were also shamed, she said.

In one meeting, a teacher asked a female student which toothbrush she would use - a filthy one or a "pristine" one. His message was that "If you have sex before marriage, you are a dirty toothbrush," Ms. Knox said.

In his remarks, Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican, said a popular comprehensive sex education curriculum lists "showering together" and several noncoital sexual activities as safe for teens. Are these things appropriate to teach in schools as an alternative to abstinence education, he asked Rep. Lois Capps, California Democrat, and Mr. Brownback.

Mrs. Capps, who testified against abstinence-only education, demurred, saying she had never seen such messages taught in a school; Mr. Brownback said neither he nor most American parents would want their children taught such things.

Marcia Crosse of the General Accountability Office (GAO) said her agency has found some medical inaccuracies in federally funded abstinence materials, but HHS was actively implementing a system to ensure accuracy. Moreover, she said, while abstinence programs are gathering data on outcomes, this information is insufficient for the GAO to draw conclusions about the programs' effectiveness.

Check out WebMD's take on the issue

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another Robot Learns to Feel

I Want You to Want Me is a project by by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar commissioned by MoMa Ny for the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition. The piece is an interactive art work that gathers information from ever accumulating online dating profiles and organizes that info into an achingly hopeful visual system.

and if you liked that check out We Feel Fine, an earlier project by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, that mined the web for the phrase "I feel."

Who said computers don't have hearts...

Hey there Chlamydia

A little something to make you smile. Whats a PHalligator Friday without some Fun :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fresh Focus finalist creates promotion for InBrief

Folks may remember Cyrene, animator extraordinaire, from ISIS' Fresh Focus Sex-Ed Video Contest where she was a finalist and crowd favorite for her video "Sex Monster."

Cyrene's at it again. She has made ISIS 2 promo videos for our new contest InBrief...what if ur undies had the last word. The boy-boy version hasn't gotten as much play, so here it is for your enjoyment!

And for nostagia's sake, Sex Monster:

And one more thing, please steal these by clicking on the 'share' button and post where ever you see fit. The more people exposed to this contest, the more conversations that will be started regarding sexual health, boundaries between partners and overall sexual happiness!

The deadline to design your winning panties is fast approaching (May 15th). And if you're not feeling creative, vote for your favorite entries or share them with friends.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sex, Film and Videotape: 100 Years of Sexual Health

Mark the date
Thursday May 1st 8pm
at The Roxie
3117 16th St, San Francisco
ISIS presents our first public screening

Sex, Film and Videotape: 100 Years of Sexual Health

Award winning filmmaker and human sexuality expert, Dr Mark Schoen, will be presenting footage of early sexual health films from the 1900s to the present day and he will also provide narration/commentary on the footage concerning the social implications of the films.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Underwear Design Contest launches!

What if your underwear really did have the last word? Too many of us miss the opportunity to talk to our partners about STD/HIV prevention and other ways of maintaining a rockin' sex life.

inBrief is an underwear design contest where you get to design your own STD/HIV prevention slogan or sexual health motto on a pair of boxers, underpants or a T-Shirt. The winning design gets a 1000 bucks and we'll make a dozen pairs of your design! You have until May 15th!

We've partnered with Brickfish to run this contest because (they rock) each entry can be shared in multiple ways. You can email entries, blog them, and bookmark them. This way, sexual health messages can take on a course of their own! Brickfish even maps how viral the entries become and you can follow their progress.

Cyrene, of Fresh Focus Video Contest fame made us this sweet animation. (Check out her previous work, "Sex Monsters"). Feel free to re-post this video. Click 'share' for the embed code. Or, steal our press release.

And now...start making undies.