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My name is Mark Vogel and I am the project manager at HIV In Site, and I will be the moderator of today's discussion.Most of us are here because we are probably familiar with the recent studies that report high rates of unprotected sex and outbreaks of STDs among men who meet other men in Internet chat rooms.ISIS has worked with online providers to provide online prevention initiatives. have documented high rates of unprotected sex among men recruited from online venues and there are several European studies that have looked at comparing, guys who say that they actually are using chat rooms to those that are not using chat rooms and there is a lot of information, a lot of data, showing that the chat room users are actually reporting higher rates of unprotected sex than the non-chat room users.
Deb Levine is the Executive Director of Internet Sexuality Information Services, or ISIS, which has contracted with the City and County of San Francisco to provide syphilis elimination services to men who have sex with men in the City, and also to identify their partners on the Internet.
Major brand name advertisers such as Pepsi Co Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corp., State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Countrywide Mortgage and T-Mobile withdrew ads placed on Yahoo!
web pages that may have come under association with the offensive chat rooms.
In this investigation, we found that 67% of these syphilis cases versus 19% of matched men who were non-syphilis cases had met recent partners in the chat room, and this was a statistically significant association.
It was actually one of the first published studies of a strong association between Internet sex partnering and syphilis transmission.