D Gregory Smith

Study: Simple Changes To Dating Sites Could Lower STD's, HIV

Filed By D Gregory Smith | August 24, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: dating, HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS, love, safe sex, sex, STD's, STI's, STOP AIDS

A study released today recommends eight ways to reduce transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among men who meet male sex partners online.

Owners of popular dating and "hook-up" websites and users of those websites, along with HIV and STD program directors, agreed that a few simple measures could have a major impact on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Among the online measures supported by a majority of those surveyed:

  • Including "safe sex" as a profile option and allowing users to search for partners by such characteristics
  • Providing directories of STD testing locations
  • Sending automatic reminders to get an HIV or STD test at regular intervals chosen by users
  • Having chat-rooms and other areas for HIV-positive men looking for other HIV-positive men
  • Providing e-cards to notify partners of a potential exposure to STDs
  • Posting videos that show men discussing safe sex, HIV status, and related issues
  • Providing access to sexual health experts

"Finding sex and love online is here to stay," said Dan Wohlfeiler, one of the study's authors working with the California HIV/STD Prevention Training Center for this project. "This shows how we can work with the website owners to turn the internet into a force for the health of their users."

In California, gay and bisexual men who were diagnosed with syphilis or gonorrhea most frequently reported the Internet as where they met sex partners.

More than 3000 users, 82 state and local HIV and STD Program directors and 18 owners of dating and "hook-up " websites completed the survey.

Jen Hecht, Education Director at STOP AIDS Project and co-author, said "Since all three groups agree these strategies are important, can be done, and would be used, we need to be getting them online now."

The study also found a number of strategies with less support. Website owners expressed skepticism about health department staff going online to notify users that they might have been exposed to an STD. In contrast, a majority of HIV and STD prevention directors and users thought this strategy was important. The authors are planning follow-up meetings with owners to further understand their concerns."We have rising rates of STDs among gay and bisexual men and turning that around means everyone needs to take responsibility for their sexual health," said Bill Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). "This study shows how public health professionals, as well the users and owners of sex seeking websites, can band together to make a real difference in securing the sexual health of gay men."

The study, entitled "How Can We Improve HIV and STD Prevention Online for MSM" funded by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, was co-authored by H. Fisher Raymond and Willi McFarland at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The results have been posted today at http://www.stopaids.org/online.


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Gee, Gregory, where do we begin? ...

Hook-up website owners do not want their users to be assertively reminded by health advocates that hooking up can lead to STD's? ... Well, duh!

The LGBT movement (with emphasis on "G" and "B"), and the sexual revolution in general, has reached the point where it is now vitally necessary to carefully and firmly draw the line between Old School Judeo-Christian Morality (OSJCM) and "Fucking Smart" -- the former is a form of brainwashing involving detachment from reality, the latter is a modern survival skill involving uncompromising engagement with reality. And both involve discipline. OSJCM involves negative discipline fueled by fundamentalist forces such as conformity and shame; Fucking Smart is a form of uncompromising self-awareness and involves the positive discipline of self-responsibility, self-determination (as in actively choosing your own future), and self-worth instead of self-effacement.

But unfortunately, they both involve this message:

You can't always fuck exactly the way you feel like it.

Because Fucking Smart is not a message of total sexual abandon, a very large slice of the sexually active "G" and "B" population rejects it, and attempts to label it as OSJCM, either a real-time active form or a historically/culturally vestigial form.

Hey, people, pull your heads out of your asses. Whether you are a priest or a pagan, you can't go through life fucking with abandon without risk of killing yourself.

Furthermore, I am sick and tired of the gay health authorities mollycoddling this message. Barebacking is stupid and irresponsible unless you are in a trustworthy mono-relationship, or using an effective strategy of sero-sorting, or following some other scientifically sound protective strategy.

As long as the leadership in the "G" and "B" communities continue to water down this message, it will continue to be ineffective. Thus, the GB leadership is complicit in the rising HIV infection rates, including the way that it is devastating the African-American population.

But in the LGBT culture, this message is not considered PC. It is not PC to admit that social conservatives are correct in at least a few of the facts of life, even as they insist on wrapping those facts in moralistic braniwashings and religious fairy tales. And thus, in the LGBT world ...

You know what's even deadlier than HIV/AIDS? Speaking the truth.

I'm sure it's more profitable for sites like Adam 4 Adam and Xtube to continue to profit off of the glorification on depictions of condomless sex than implement these changes.

In nay case, yes, this is a great campaign.

Related:

Gay Glorifying Of Bareback Sex
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VzaC5LgJEY

Condomless Sex Glorified By Mainstream LGBT Company
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXeOdOKBExo