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Health agencies fight STDs with social networking sites

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

As more and more people live a significant portion of their lives online, public health agencies are following suit, opening accounts on online meeting sites in order to reach people who may need medical care for sexually transmitted diseases.

Ohio is the latest state to join the trend, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch. Cleveland's health department opened accounts on two sites this week, while Cincinnati has plans to be online in the next month or so. Columbus Public Health started early, first establishing an account on Manhunt, a social-networking site for gay men, almost a year ago.

San Francisco, Washington, DC and Massachusetts were among the first health departments to begin using social networking sites to reach a possibly infected person a few years ago.

The move to the internet is partially because more at-risk encounters are happening in which the participants only know each other's online names, according to the Dispatch. By establishing a presence on popular online meeting sites, health officials can contact these otherwise anonymous people if their partners are diagnosed with a disease and encourage them to get an STD test.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19134863-ADNFCR

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