American Social Health Association was founded in 1914 to deal with “social diseases”—what a great euphemism for STDs, eh?—and was frankly, a much needed intervention for an absolute epidemic of venereal disease in the US at that time. Some estimates submit that up to 80% of New York City men had already been infected with gonorrhea at some point. Early efforts of ASHA focused on prostitution and the military—a combination that has historically produced major sexual health crises—but by the 1960s, the focus shifted to the civilian population.
Enter , “VD is for Everybody,” the most confusing sexual health campaign I’ve ever seen. Alongside the National Advertising Council, ASHA produced this 1969 short to emphasize the growing ubiquity of venereal disease—thanks, sexual revolution! I can only assume the spot is a surreal attempt at irony, because if one were judging from the song styling and video-editing alone, this PSA reads like an advertisement for VD. In fact, it kind of makes VD look awesome! Seriously—look at all those happy, attractive, seemingly healthy people! They’re doing ballet, riding horses, having babies…beingbabies?!?
I half expected it to end with, “Ask your doctor if VD is right for you!”
Do you remember this PSA? Let us know in the comments!
h/t Dangerous Minds