13 February 2009
"There is no lack of people who want to wear a penis costume in public."
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"There is no lack of people who want to wear a penis costume in public," says Department of Public Health department spokeswoman Eileen Shields.
That would be the the 6-foot-tall Healthy Penis costume, sez the San Francisco Chronicle, which continues:
"Actually, there are three of them, and they'll make their reappearance at noon today at the corner of Castro and Market. The characters will appear with a fourth, much-less-attractive buddy, Phil the Syphilis Sore.
"Controversial when they debuted in 2002, the characters became popular and appeared around the city until 2006 to encourage gay and bisexual men to get tested for syphilis.
"Syphilis cases dropped over those years, and the penis costumes were borrowed by other cities to promote testing for sexually transmitted diseases. But now the Department of Public Health is bringing them back because syphilis cases are again on the rise, up 50 percent from 2007 to 2008."
Mascot exposes itself to promote sexual health
by Heather Knight, C.W. Nevius, Audrey Cooper, Chronicle Column
Friday, February 13, 2009