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UCSD STD testing clinic pushes 'sex positive' message

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 20:38:06-05

(KGTV) — Are you "Good to Go?"

It's a name, question, and a badge of honor being offered by a new STD testing clinic run by UC San Diego in Normal Heights.

For those who remember the TV show, the decor is a bit "Dating Game." Or perhaps "Austin Powers." Along with a feature you've likely never spotted in any health clinic.

"You can touch, you can create. You can get a low profile," says clinic Marketing Director, Marcell Reyes Vermillion, as he poses for selfies in a bright yellow photo-booth adorned with strings of yellow balls and a yellow shag carpet.

The selfie-booth encourages those "cleared for sex" to take a picture for social media.

"This is a very sex positive message that we're hoping to share with people," said Dr. Susan Little, Professor of Medicine for UC San Diego. "There has been a lot of messaging around disease prevention. And we now have really good drugs, biomedical interventions, to prevent HIV infection among people who are negative. And to prevent transmission among people who are positive."

Make no mistake, Dr. Little makes clear the goal is to stop transmission of STDs. Especially HIV among young Hispanic men where cases are still on rise.

But Dr. Little says the new approach is to make getting checked an inviting experience, that celebrates health and sex.

"I think the time as come to let people know they no longer have to worry about disease," says Dr. Little. "We need to try and promote a sex positive, status neutral, sexual health promotion, rather than disease prevention."

"Get checked, then you can mate with anyone you want," says Vermillion. Though, with the caveat, you want your partner to get checked too.

The Good To Go clinic is funded by an NIH grant and free to those getting tested.

For more information, visit the program's website or call 619-543-9340.