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Craigslist availability linked to rise in STDs in cities

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Craigslist may represent an easy way for individuals to come together to sell certain items, but new research suggests that it may also be responsible for a rise in the number of positive STD tests in certain regions.

A team of researchers from New York University analyzed data from cities where the services of Craigslist recently became available. They found that in nearly all cases, the number of people diagnosed with HIV and syphilis increased in the year following the release of Craigslist in certain regions.

The website is essentially an online classified page. People can buy and sell a range of services. There is also a "Casual Encounters" section, where people can post personal ads that are mostly intended to find casual sex opportunities. The researchers said that this section appeared to be most closely associated with the rise of STDs in certain cities.

"Our study results demonstrate that Craigslist, as a minimally regulated online intermediary with no posting costs, increases the number of transactions taking place, including transactions that have undesirable social consequences," said lead researcher Anindya Ghose.ADNFCR-2248-ID-800753750-ADNFCR

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