A Syphilis Tsunami?
No, that’s not the title of a new Sharknado spinoff. It’s the claim an unusual billboard is making about an actual threat allegedly facing Fort Worth, Texas:
The Star-Telegram reports that the billboard is the work of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, attempting to direct residents to freeSTDcheck.org.
The report notes that syphilis isn’t a small problem by any means — the Centers for Disease Control says it saw 74,702 new diagnoses in 2015 — but that natural disaster metaphors might be more applicable to other diseases, such as gonorrhea’s 395,216 new diagnoses.
Maybe that’s why the awareness campaign hasn’t found much success so far:
Foundation websites are attempting to take the campaign into the social media space by encouraging selfies and posts using the hashtag #AHFbillboardselfie, which, um, hasn’t really taken off, according to social media searches.
The foundation has apparently found it necessary in today’s media and advertising landscape to take its campaign to eliminate AIDS, syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases old-school via a giant jarring message 42.5 feet in the air on a billboard along the highway.