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Doctors: Use of gay apps like Grindr linked to syphilis outbreak

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  1. Don Harrison 26 Aug 2012, 8:02am

    Doctor you are deluded, homophobia and making your look ignorant.

    1. Paddyswurds 26 Aug 2012, 1:24pm

      You are just plain stupid if thats how you think….

  2. Buggered if I know how an App on an intelligent phone can spread an STD. I was taught that use of a condom was needed to prevent STD’s…….?????
    Think again Doctor if you think that not using Grindr is going to stop transmission of STD’s. I thought that most doctors were educated…… Maybe I was deluded!

    1. Where in the article does Dr Young advise not using Grindr? She advises gay men should have regular sexual health screens.

      Grindr presents a new challenge to epidemiological management of sexually transmitted infections and it is not homophobic to say that.

  3. GingerlyColors 26 Aug 2012, 8:31am

    How can you catch syphilis off a mobile phone app? I didn’t know that computer viruses can mutate and be passed to humans.

    1. Paddyswurds 26 Aug 2012, 1:21pm

      …Are you trying to be funny and failing miserably or just plain stupid? I would have thought it is fairly obvious even to the thickest of planks, how Grindr could cause an upsurge in STDs, what with the increased incidence and ease of connection enabled by apps like Grindr….. The lack of sexual health information available to young Gay men is also woefully lacking, indeed to any young person Gay, hetero, male or female. I have not seen a public service ad about sexual health on telly in years and that with the advent of hundreds of channels…

      Being obtuse on a thread like this only serves to make light of the message and is ill considered. If it is pure stupidity, go educate yourself!.

  4. Wear a condom or not, theres an app that takes track of the nasties

  5. Gays above, are you simple? Phone apps simply make it easier to find a sex partner
    And pass on syphilis.. which is spread by
    Oral sex and rigorous body contact..

    1. I don’t see why you’re getting negative votes for this. Gays saying Grindr doesn’t have an influence on STD’s reminds me of Americans who say lax gun laws have nothing to do with their murder rate.

      “Grindr doesn’t infect people, people infect people”

      1. Yes, but Grindr is a catalyst for people to infect people.

        The mind behind the user will dictate whether they take responsibility for their behaviour or not, and unfortunately a lot more men are driven by their dicks than are gun owners motivated by some deep, dark desire to turn their weapons on one another.

        1. Spanner1960 26 Aug 2012, 7:14pm

          Grindr is not a catalyst.
          Nothing has changed in the last 30 years except the vector.
          Once it was saunas and bars, then it was Internet chatrooms, and now its mobile apps.

          The bottom line is gay men will shag anything with a pulse given the opportunity, and the technology merely acts as a conduit for that urge.

          1. Erm. Catalyst, conduit…

            Same thing surely?

        2. Spanner1960 27 Aug 2012, 12:34am

          1) A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
          2) A person or thing that precipitates an event.

          Like I said, it hasn’t increased anything, just the means of doing it has changed.

          1. I guess I am one of very few gays that genuinely didn’t believe such a high majority (71%) of gays used Grindr for sex.

            I’m actually disgusted by this fact, and ashamed.

    2. So the moral is to not have sex?

      1. Spanner1960 30 Aug 2012, 12:21pm

        In a nutshell, yes.
        Any sex is a risk, it really just depends on how much you wish to take.

  6. How did this man get a medical degree?

    1. Paddyswurds 26 Aug 2012, 9:02pm

      One thing is certain on this thread and that is that you certainly don’t have a degree….. If by some fluke you do, please hand it back tomorrow.

      1. Haha. I’ll be honest. I commented merely after seeing the title. However, the implication that Grindr is purely for sexual endeavors is beyond me and many others. I only know a couple of people who use it for such activity.

        Also, where is the correlation and corroboration made? Where’s the data? Until a research paper is quoted with all of the above then it’s pure conjecture.

        It’s almost as basic as me stating that climate change is caused by pollution…

        1. Paddyswurds 30 Aug 2012, 12:19pm

          Your last statement is just about as stupid as Lami Bast saying that humans aren’t carbon based entities. Of course pollution causes global warming, idiot…….. And it has been proven without any doubt.

          1. Spanner1960 30 Aug 2012, 12:26pm

            I think you will find the jury is still out on that one.
            Many things cause global warming, man is simply one of them. Don’t believe all the propaganda being spouted by governments.

  7. The ap isn’t responsible, but it does make casual contact easier, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve noticed a high proportion of men I’ve met through Grindr in Leeds have scabies. I know because I quickly got to diagnose the symptoms after catching it myself. The message is to be careful. And BTW, a condom will not protect you against syphilis or scabies.

    1. Christ Almighty. Thanks for making me feel better about being celibate and in an LDR.

  8. Yeah, a lot of people are being deliberately obtuse when commenting on this article.

    By saying Grindr and other apps designed to make it easier for gay men to meet sexual partners is not homophobic – it is backed up statistics and is addressing a new challenge to epidemiological management of sexually transmitted infections.

    Yes, unprotected sex is itself the vector for transmission of syphilis and other STIs, but having multiple partners is a risk factor. In addition, Grindr potentially introduces individuals to one another who would have otherwise never met, widening the spread of infection.

    It is also worth mentioning that syphilis is easily spread through oral sex. In my experience working in sexual health, condom use for oral sex is extremely uncommon.

    1. Great comments Andrew, it just goes to show how very little some people understand about the risks involved with multiple partners. It is assumed that unprotected sex is the only risk factor when it comes to acuiring STI’s but this must also be taken in the context of the number of different sexual partners an individual will have in a given period. There should be more emphasis on the cummulative risk associated with having multiple partners, rather than the per exposure risk, particularly in relation to oral sex.

      Let us not forget that other STI’s facillitate the onward transmission of HIV so there surely is a correlation between increased STI infections & new HIV diagnosis – sexual behaviour has changed significantly in the last 10 years, & I beleive there is growing evidence to suggest oral sex should not be considered low risk where multiple partners are concerned – it can be higher risk as a result of many factors.

    2. Spanner1960 26 Aug 2012, 6:22pm

      Of course they are. Gay men hate to face up to the glaring truths that they are still the highest statistical risk for HIV and are also the most promiscuous.

      Making daft comments, accusations of homophobia and pretending it doesn’t happen are all just methods of denial, and people need to wake up and smell the coffee or we are going to end up with another pandemic, and this time they may not be a cure.

  9. these apps are disgusting

    if you play with fire you will get brunt, I dont know how people cant expect to catch stds if you sleep with 5 people a week you dont even know.

    1. Well at least there is a solution for the problem

  10. Spanner1960 26 Aug 2012, 6:18pm

    What concerns me is if Syphilis is being passed on, then what else might also be getting transmitted?

    It merely demonstrates that gay men are still continuing to ignore all the warnings and shag around unprotected.

    Syphilis is fixable, AIDS is not; either get your acts together or face the painful consequences.

  11. It’s telling that this news comes from a sexual health clinic.

    Why are the sexual health charities not identifying such key risks areas that legitamise and incentivise multiple partner hook-ups and riskier sexual behaviours, such as Grindr and bareback porn respectively, and acting to desseminate targetted awareness and education programmes accordingly?

    Really all the Christchurch Sexual Health Centre is reporting is the obvious and stretching their sources to cater for those infected due to the neglect and indifference of those who should have spoken out about the hyper-sexualisatiom of gay culture years ago.

    THT and GMFC have steadfastly refused to enter into any kind of a debate about these issues but are quick to stress regular testing and early prescribing of meds as the solution, which only proves that those mandated to safeguard public health are the root of the problem and the prime cause of epidemic STI/ HIV rates.

  12. These are isolated and anonymous forms of contact, and therefore likely to conceal risky behaviours which would be stigmatised and discouraged in social sex venues with a strong safe-sex message. Also, a vulnerable guy is probably more likely to yield to pressure for risky sex meeting up in isolation with an unknown partner. I think all this needs to be strongly discouraged. Safe sex with long-term partners or just groups of friends who know and trust each other should be heavily plugged.

    1. Social sex venues with a strong safe sex message?


      Care to name one?

      1. I was being theoretical and idealistic.

    2. You also wrote:- “…groups of friends who know and trust each other should be heavily plugged.”

      I entirely agree, so long as you amend the sentence to read “heavily but SAFELY plugged.”

      1. I love the perceived double-entendre about ‘plugging’ but it doesn’t work.
        ‘Safe sex’ is plainly the subject of the verb and everything else is in the subordinate clause.

    3. “…long-term partners or just groups of friends who know and trust each other should be heavily plugged.”

      An unfortunate choice of wording if reading the last two lines of your post out of context, Riondo, but read as a whole you make a very good point!

      Compared to sites like Manhunt and Gaydar where respective partners are likely to exchange a series of messages as they negotiate the parameters around the kind of sex they will have and where their tastes in sex in terms of likes and dislikes are clearly sign-posted, Apps like Grindr cut through all that because it’s a device for people looking for sex on the go, here and now, and so guys are more likely to cut to the chase than messaging endlessly to discuss parameters, etc.

      I have been seated behind guys on night buses, much the worse for wear, totally immersed in finding instant hook-ups, and a good few of the guys often seen on street corners tapping frantically into their phones are no doubt looking for instant sex on tap.

  13. THT has just been awarded £6 milion-plus plans for HIV prevention over the next several years.

    If they have their way with no debate about how that money is spent, it’ll be business as usual and 5 years from now all gay men coming out on to the scene will be doing so in the sling room of the local sleaze club, a fist being heir rite of passage.

    The “sleazification” of our scene is even be being aided and abetted by HIV charities who’ve acted as supporters and recipients of such events in recent years, which have enabled extreme sex parties to become mainstream and, in the absence of many club nights and bars which have been forced to close over the same period, a lure for those lookin to fill a void in their weekend clubbing.

    I’m not against such clubs but they must be balanced with a common sense approach that sets out to educate and inform patrons of the many potential threats to their health they’ll encounter.

    See to see how THT glamorises the sleaze scene.

    1. While I agree that THT could be doing more to provide information for gay men generally, there is a need to address the risks for those gay men who are at higher risk of HIV and other STIs, such as those involved in the “sleaze scene”.

      As a sexual health nurse, there’s nothing on the Hard Cell website that I would see as glamorising particular sexual acts – rather it provides information on sexual acts that individuals might otherwise struggle to find from elsewhere.

      If I am faced with an individual who chooses not to use condoms, should I just dismiss them and tell them to accept that they will eventually catch HIV? Or do I provide them with information which may help reduce their risk that, while not as effective as using condoms, is at least acceptable to them?

      1. This is the crux of the argument as I see it Andrew “do I provide them with information which may help reduce their risk that, while not as effective as using condoms, is at least acceptable to them?” any safer sex intevention needs to be acceptable to the invidual rather than what is seen as acceptable to the wider community. All we can ask is for people to make informed choices, & as I have posted previously many many times the perception of risk is very individual. Individuals must have the freedom of choice which is supported with good, accurate information.

        Sex & Relationship Education in our schools is woefully inadequate & this then makes the job of the sexual health charities much more difficult. There is always more that can be done, particularly a more collaborative approach, avoiding duplication across the different charities & increasingly involving clinics such as 56 Dean Street, London which has demonstrated novel approaches to raising STI / HIV awareness & testing.

        1. Gay men can only make informed choices if they are fully informed and properly educated about the risks involved in certain behaviours and the possible transmission routes for all manner of pathogens and how having HIV can be complicated by acquiring other STIs or using immune-system depleting drugs like crystal meth.

          Without this information they cannot make fully or properly informed choices, hence why HIV rates are now seemingly out of control.

          The HIV charities took their finger off the button when antivirals emerged in the mid-1990s and we have been paying the price ever since.

          1. As stated below Samuel I would prefer it if you do not reply to any of my postings. There are plenty of other comments you may wish to reply to. Thankyou in advance

  14. I believe syphilis & other STI’s are very much fuelling the current year on year increases in HIV we see in the UK. Primary Syphillis infection & genital herpes can go undetected, which significantly increases the risk of HIV transmission.

    This is why regular testing STI / HIV testing is so important. Undiagnosed STI’s act as a very effective vector to introduce HIV into the body – the sores small leasions assocaited with syphilis are often missed but provide a very effective transmission route for HIV.

    We must encourage more STI testing & ensure that an HIV test also forms part of the standard range of tests completed – the opt out model for HIV testing would prove very effective I beleive.

    Gay men / MSM need to overcome their reluctance to regularly test for HIV – this becomes more important with the more casual encounters an individual has.

    1. Spanner1960 27 Aug 2012, 12:39am

      Testing is all well and good, but it is shutting the door after the horse has bolted. It needs to be preventative measures first and foremost, by reducing both unsafe sex and promiscuity; only then will numbers start to fall.

      Offering tests is not going to help in the long term, and even those who know they are positive still continue to sleep around, bareback and propagate the infection rate.

      1. @ Spanner do you not consider regular testing to be important in a prevention strategy? The horse bolted 30 years ago – HIV quickly became concentrated amongst the gay / MSM community, unchecked for many yrs, something that is very often overlooked by many PN contributors. Nearly 50% of all new infections are known to come from the undiagnosed +ve cohort, those on successful treatment (undetectable viral load) are the least likely to pass on HIV. We still have a great deal to learn about the mechanics by which HIV causes infection – the risk associated with transmission are as individual as we are.

        In an ideal world condom use would be universal & the number of sexual partners an individual may choose to have is a personal choice – we do not live in an ideal world, people make choices so we must take steps to reduce the level of virus within a particular group of people. Regular testing, & treatment as appropriate are important tools for reducing the prevelance of HIV & other STI’s.

        1. The problem is that most HIV “prevention” these days is a rallying call for everyone to get tested:- that is NOT real prevention in the true sense of the word.

          In effect the HIV charities have created the problem of mass infection through their neglect and misguided approach to prevention and, hey presto, are now offering the solution in calling for testing to recruit new service clients and drug recipients for their pharma co-founders.

          And let’s not forget the chances for false positive diagnoses, particularly if the person tested has recently indulged in activities that lower the immune system.

          I recently read that it is possible to receive a negative diagnosis in the US and a pos diagnosis in Australia due to the different testing methods used in various countries.

          I would wager there is a significant number of gay men on antiretrovirals who don’t even have HIV, exacerbated by the new policy of putting them onto drugs long before their t-cells start depleting.

          1. Sorry, for “co-founders” read “co-funders”!

          2. Samuel I would prefer it if you didnt reply to my comments, make your own separate comments & give other commentators a chance to debate the issues. I would prefer not to get embroiled in yet another Samuel B. & W6 side show.

            There are some very valid points on here worth discussing so perhaps it would be better for you focus on those, as most readrs will by now know our views differ significantly & despite my attempts to educate, you continue to mis-represent how a true HIV diagnosis is arrived at as detailed above.

            I will make no further comments on your postings as it is futile!

        2. I think it is important to clarify the situation with regard to HIV testing in the UK & the tests that happen prior to anyone being placed on HIV treatment.

          Modern HIV tests looks for anti-bodies & the P24 antigen which HIV produces during the first few weeks of infection (P24 tests are reliable 4 weeks post initial infection). HIV testing does not look at immune function at all. Upon a reactive test a further series of tests are conducted, one of which looks directly for HIV – the viral load test. Unless treament is clinically required further tests are taken including type of virus present, sub type (clade) drug resistance & a tropism test together will other tests to provide baseline information on Liver & Kidney functions.

          I believe that no one in the UK has been placed on HIV treatment without the appropriate tests having taken place. I have read of one recent case in the US where an individual was mis-diagnosed, but again this is a very rare occurence.

        3. Spanner1960 28 Aug 2012, 10:41pm

          W6 – Please don’t twist my words. Of course testing is important, but prevention is better than cure, so trying to eliminate infection by reducing the number of sexual partners and offering better education and facilities for safer sex has to be the primary option.

          If everybody followed the rules, there would be no need for testing.

          1. Would these “rules” be your rules by any chance? What are these so called rules?

            You & your side kick must be the only individuals on the planet that do not understand the importance of testing as a prevention tool.

            Of course both of you are vastly qualified in prevention methods, & all the rest of us are wrong, clinicians, epidemiologists, prevention experts alike.

            You have hardly demonstrated a good understanding of HIV often using incorrect terminology & having a poor understanding of modern treatment & care.

            If you read my postings correctly you will find that I share the views you mention in your comment, the difference in my approach is that I do not seek to impose “rules” on people or make judgements on the sexual activities of others.

          2. As for twisting your words Spanner – I posed a question of you, nothing more, which you seem to have chosen not to answer, prefering deflection tatics by suggesting I am twisting your words.

          3. You vile little toad.

            On the one hand you ask me not to respond to your postings directly, to which I politely agree.

            Then you have the nerve to provoke me, on this head and elsewhere, by daring to suggest that those who hold the same views that are counter to your PC gibberish b*llsh*t are “sidekicks”.

            Now, decide which is it to be, W6.

            I will cease responding to your illiterate scrawlings if you cease provoking or alluding to me in any way, shape or form, snidely (which is your default style) or otherwise.

            You are clearly unhinged as you have demonstrated time and time again, and I therefore have no desire to continue remonstrating with someone, anyone, who lacks the mental faculties and temperate personality required to debate properly and without discourse to insult after insult.

            That is why I welcomed your armistice and agreed not to continue n dialogue with you.

            But you just don’t seem able to help yourself, do you?

          4. Again you have decided that I am referring to you as the “sidekick” – you really are very stupid Samuel – as for provoking you are the expert. I am learning the tricks of your trade from the master himself. If you choose to react to my postings that is up to you – get a life you saddo. Several PN commentators ridicule you on a regualr basis, you need to ask the question why, even your friend Spanner aint exactly your strongest fan!

            You would like nothing better than for me not to continue to comment here; this is your default postion wear people down until they decide enough is enough. I have news for you sunshine you will not silence me. If you are so paranoid to think that every comment I make is directed at you then so be it, but do not pretend that you are the innocent party here. You are a proven bully & you have made sustained attacks on me from day one. Now pi$$ off you moron – I have had enough of your billy bull$hit to last a lifetime.

          5. The simple answer then Samuel is don’t react to any of my postings – you can’t I have witnessed time & again. The reason I asked you not to reply to my comments was that at that time you had quite clearly sinlged me out in your usual way – there are other comments on here that if I had made them you would have launched into your usual aggressive default position. I note you did not relpy to Andrew about his views on Hardcell. I am very sure you would have had sometihng to say if I had made his comments.

            Also once again you cleverly inject THT into this conversation again making comments you know nothing about, knowing I would react – provocation in action. THT won that contact fair & square, there was another consortium bid, but the DoH went with THT. Now if you want to influence how contracts are developed you need to lobby DoH not be spiteful about THT. The DoH have decided how that money will be spent so it is not up for public debate!

            You are a prize fool

  15. I’m sure I could link Grindr to many, many things… Corroborate the data and come back with actual reasoning.

    “re-emerging globally” and saying it’s an “old infection” both imply that it’s most likely down to lack of education and spotting the symptoms.

    Some of the gays on this site really need to go onto Pubmed, Nature, Newscientist or any actual legitimate website. Pinknews seems to be for the few that throw their weight around for attention.

    1. “I’m sure I could link Grindr to many, many things… Corroborate the data and come back with actual reasoning.” – a report from the Centre for Disease Control, showing MSM who meet sexual partners via social networking apps are significantly more likely to have a positive chlamydia/gonorrhoea result than those who do not use them and slightly more likely than those who use internet sites.

      Grindr and similar phone apps are a relatively new phenomenon and it would churlish to dismiss the potential impact this will have on sexual behaviours and transmission of STIs.

      1. I have to admit, I am shocked that 71% of those asked have used it to meet for sex… I use it to satiate my boredom and nothing else.

        Quite ashamed to know this statistic. I thought it would be approximately 20%. I guess I am still very much naive when it comes to the gay community’s sexual endeavours.

        Thank you for clarifying my mistake.

        1. You also have to take into account that they are asking men in a sexual health setting – 71% of men attending the clinic met partners via Grindr or similar, does not necessarily equate that 71% of users use it for sex.

    2. PantoHorse 28 Aug 2012, 3:26pm

      You’ve completely missed the point, Seany

  16. Kim Berlin 27 Aug 2012, 9:49am

    Smart phones are not responsible for transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases —- why it is necessary to blame technology when clearly it is people who are not protecting themselves.

    1. Whilst I would agree that it is sexual behaviours that lead to the spread of STI’s, it would be a foolish individual who does not understand that smarphone apps often facillitate “spur of the moment encounters” where very little is known about an individual – this has been demonstrated by the study abstract in the link provided by Andrew above. Most young people have smart phones & this has to be considered in terms of the increase in STI’s amongst young gay men.

      This is a complex area with the increasing use of Apps such as Grindr adding to the complexity with regards to reducing STI’s – novel approaches are needed such as pop up testing centres & outreach testing in non traditional settings to encourage spur of the moment testing which matches that of random hook ups. We should not dismiss the potential effect technology is having on changing the way gay guys interact with one another.

      1. Well said W6!

        1. Samuel I would refer you to my postings above – please do not reply to my comments, there are many other commentators to reply to so please do not single me out as we both know what the outcome will be.

          1. Agreed. From this point on we don’t respond to each others’ posts…

      2. Kim Berlin 28 Aug 2012, 9:55am

        Perhaps technology based education programmes need to be developed to assist “connected” men in better understanding the risks. Surely alcohol impaired connections are worse than technology facilitation connections …. individuals and communities must behave sensibly, have regular health checks and develop the ability to react without guilt.

      3. Perhaps platforms such as Grindr can also implement a reminder system to prompt users to take a health check. Perhaps even send health updates to inform users about symptoms. This must surely be useful for “connected” people?

        1. I certainly agree that online engagement of the younger population group is very important – there have been various initiatives such as the THT Sex Score which allows participants to answer a range of questions which then identifies their own person risk level & then provides a further detailed information on the best way to reduce the level of risk depending of the answers given by the participant. THT also launched a facebook game called Man Up, again designed to engage younger individuals.

          56 Dean Street recently ran a community engagement competition on Facebook to design a poster / videa campaign around the importantce of testing. This campaign was most popular with the age group between 25 to 34 year olds, which shows that such online initiatives do successfully target the younger age group. This has to be the way forward as small poster / magazine ads are often less impactful & do not often reach the target audience.

  17. Ricardo Duarte 27 Aug 2012, 1:14pm

    OH, GIMME A BREAK! Moralistic rhetoric again! This is the same as what we heard during the AIDS outbreak of the eighties. People still haven’t learned that outbreaks of any STD are due to unprotected sex alone and not to smartphone applications or anything else for that matter.

  18. Why does it say ‘Doctors’ in the headline? Only one doctor is quoted as making the link between Grindr and an increase in syphilis infections. Also, there are no statistics to support these comments – how are we to judge whether this is an ‘outbreak’ or an ‘epidemic’ rather than just a slow rise? What does ‘re-emerging globally’ mean in terms of changes in infection rates?

    Please present us with some facts rather than just some unsupported opinions, even if they do come from health professionals. The ‘get tested’ message stops being effective if it’s tacked on to some scaremongering.

  19. Clearly some on here don’t get it or choose not to get it (a form of denial, so we could surmise that they are Grindr members themselves).

    The fact of the matter is that Grindr creates a gene pool of users, 71% of whom are having random and often rampant sex with each other, allowing STIs to spread like wildfire around this group of members.

    It isn’t exactly rocket science to come to the same conclusion that this report does, and science is not necessary to spend months gathering the data and reporting the obvious:- a classic delaying tactic that has enabled other threats to public health to flourish.

    Action is needed now to address these issues, tomorrow is too late.

    1. …and it is the responsibility of the Terrence Higgins Trust – holders of a £6 million-plus war chest to prevent the onward spread of HIV – to commence an open and honest public debate so that WE may have a say in how it apportions these funds.

      Otherwise our community is condemned for another three years of ineptness and indifference where our sexual health and well being are concerned.

  20. Ricardo Duarte 27 Aug 2012, 8:27pm

    I stared sexual activity at the age of 19. I have had more sex partners than the bejesus would care to know and always practiced safer sex. To this day I have not suffered from a single STD and I get checked regularly. I am now 43. This goes to prove that the real issue is safer sex and not multiple partners. You can contract one or more STDs in a single sexual encounter alone so pardon me if I disagree with the promiscuity argument.
    What’s at stake here is not the application as it is not through it that you contract STDs. There are many other ways to meet people such as bars, saunas or just on the street to name a few. What’s at stake are laxed safer sex practices. Let’s stop looking for moral excuses. Please spare me, as it is that same morality which is used against gay and bisexual men in the mainstream. Remember the gay blood donation ban.
    Celibacy is okay but I see no valour in it and personally it is no lifestyle example to me but it can leave you very bitter and frustraed.

    1. You are clear extremely fortunate never to have contracted an STI, Ricardo, as they are easily transmissible even by practising safer sex (I’m sure I don’t need to spell out the particular acts that are regarded as safer than bareback sex or even completely safe from HIV infection yet which pose risks of contracting other STIs.

      And whilst Spanner1960 is completely correct to state that HIV is incurable but most other STIs are not, each time you do catch an STI puts a strain on the immune system and multiple infections will leave a cumulative imprint, if you like, and make you more susceptible to catching common infections such as colds, but more importantly give HIV an easier ride to infect you if you come into contact with the virus .

      And of course if you already carry the HIV virus, multiple STI infections are likely to impact your immune system and deplete your t-cell count faster than the meds can work to keep you healthy.

    2. Spanner1960 28 Aug 2012, 10:48pm

      Having been there and done that, I’ve done the rounds as well, but now prefer the opposite option, and I don’t see celibacy as a “valiant” option at all, merely a preferable one. I just got bored with sex and I found myself far more bitter when I was trying to find shags than I ever do now.

      Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

    3. Congratulations, you lucked up on the sexual health lottery. However, your story is an outliner of the fact. Also HPV is something you might want to consider because nearly 80% of sexually active adults have contracted it. Also I wouldn’t knock celibacy until you try it because I have more peace of mind to know when and with whom I had sex than lost track of the faceless bodies I’ve intertwined with in sexual liasons.

  21. PantoHorse 28 Aug 2012, 4:24pm

    For goodness sake, a mention of Grindr in a negative light and you all scream homophobia.

    The story is not homophobic and nor is it saying Grindr causes the spread of STDs. It is saying that more syphilis cases have been found in men who use apps like Grindr than those who are meeting other men in saunas and the like. Reporting a fact like that isn’t homophobia.

    1. Spanner1960 28 Aug 2012, 10:43pm

      Of course it is.
      Gay men are a sensitive bunch and any criticism whatsoever on their way of life is considered a direct and unprovoked attack on their sexuality, which should be countermanded and punished to the highest extent of the law.

      Any fule no that. ;)

    2. I call it “hit dogs will holler” reaction. You know who are the “hit dogs” because they are “hollering” and screaming bloody murder.

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