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Navy Video of Count Spirochete The VD Vampire

Count Spirochete: The VD Vampire

In 1973, the United States Navy was in the business of making cartoons, namely The Return of Count Spirochete. The short film starring a vampire named after the bacterium that causes syphilis was meant to scare sailors out of sleeping around.

The 20-minute spot starts with Count Spirochete winning the award for "Communicable Disease of the Year." The cartoon for adult men then goes on to explore VD's historical background, symptoms, and dangers. Coded warnings include: "For the germs to spread from one person to the other there must be an unbroken, moist, intimate skin-to-skin contact." But soon the PSA doesn't hold back, illustrating a man's penis on fire, with puss and other disgusting cartoon representations of an STD's symptoms.

With his vaguely Russian accent, Counter Spirochete adds a taste of communist danger and a hint of Rocky and Bullwinkle. You can buy a copy of the VHS from the Pentagon Channel archives, where it was recently dug up, or you can simply watch the YouTube clip above. Enjoy!

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