The Japanese Government Is Combatting STIs With Sailor Moon

Photo: Dic Enterprises/REX/Shutterstock.
Sailor Moon has captured people's imaginations enough to inspire nail art, makeup, and many a Halloween costume. So, it was only a matter of time before the manga series made its way into a public health campaign.

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is now handing out 60,000 packages with illustrations of Sailor Moon, information about STIs, and condoms, Hello Giggles reports. It is also distributing 5,000 fliers with a rather threatening statement: "If you don't get tested, I will punish you!" This references the character's famous line, "In the name of the moon, I will punish you!"

The campaign was created in response to increases in HIV, syphilis, and other STI diagnoses among young women in Japan, the BBC reports.

According to the World Health Organization, over a million STIs are transmitted daily. These infections are getting harder to treat due to antibiotic resistance, making prevention even more important. Yet, a review published in BMC Public Health found that many European teens lack awareness of STIs; as few as 5.4% even know about HPV, and some ditch condoms once they're on birth control.

Sex education is often very minimal in Japan and many other areas of the world, and a lot of work still needs to be done on that front. But in the meantime, perhaps Sailor Moon can help fill in the blanks.

The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more, here.
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