Japan is tackling syphilis in a completely unique way

Rates of syphilis and other STDs in Japan skyrocketed in 2016 and health professionals are baffled as to why. In a bid to prevent further harm, local health officials have turned to popular anime character Sailor Moon for help.

The campaign has focused on handing out condoms and leaflets festooned with Sailor Moon’s face to encourage people to get tested for the disease. On one leaflet, Sailor Moon says, “If you do not get tested, you will be punished!!”—referencing the character’s catchphrase, “In the name of the moon, I punish you!”

According to Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), 4,077 people contracted syphilis last year, while Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said that 2,697 people had syphilis in the whole of 2015.

Only time will tell if the public will catch the message.  

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