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Alberta’s latest STIs campaign: sexy or gross?

Do you have "sex germs?" Alberta does, and it's not happy about it.

The province has launched a new public awareness campaign to combat the rising number of gonorrhea cases. The campaign features two posters of good looking young people with red eyes and snot dripping from their noses.

"A cold isn't the only thing you could catch" is the campaign's tagline.

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The website launched to accompany the campaign says: "With growing reports of gonorrhea cases, sexually active Albertans should be reminded of the seriousness of STIs. We seem to have developed good habits in avoiding everyday germs, but what about sex germs?"

Buzzfeed, which apparently has its own view of leaky noses, called the posters "sexy." Which is gross.

This isn't the first time that Alberta has devised a provocative ad campaign to curb growing rates of sexually transmitted infections.

In 2011, facing the highest rate of syphilis in the country, the province launched a campaign that parodied online dating sites, called PlentyofSyph.com. That campaign also features posters of attractive young people and cheeky slogans. "Spread more than just love tonight!" read one. "Be part of something infectious tonight!" read another.

The $2-million spent on that earlier campaign paid off, with rates of syphilis now reportedly declining. But cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the rise, thus the new $1.6-million campaign by Alberta Health.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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