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Health officials blame Alaska HIV outbreak on online dating

Category: HIV

The internet puts just about anything a person could want right at their fingertips. Increasingly, this means sex. A new report suggests that internet-arranged hook ups might be to blame for an uptick in the number of positive STD tests in Alaska.

The state's Health Department recently issued a statement in which it blamed an outbreak of HIV and syphilis that occurred in the Fairbanks area in 2011 on online relationships.

There were nine new cases of HIV reported in the area last year, which is considered a serious outbreak. Eight of these cases involved men who have sex with men, of which seven were related to online hookups. Furthermore, seven of the nine new cases involved members of the U.S. military stationed in the Fairbanks area.

Seven of the individuals infected with HIV also had syphilis, which may have played a role in the transmission of HIV. The open sores associated with syphilis makes it easier for the HIV virus to pass from one partner to the other.

While online dating may make it easier for individuals to find partners, people should still practice caution and not engage in sexual activity with anyone who has not shared STD test results with them.ADNFCR-2248-ID-800722945-ADNFCR

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