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U.S. News

Alabama: Officials Link Rise in Jefferson County HIV Cases to Growing Social Networking Trend

May 22, 2012

Health officials are seeing a rise in HIV cases in Jefferson County linked to risky sex and the many online and mobile phone applications that facilitate it. The county's HIV/AIDS population grew by 16 percent from Dec. 31, 2007, and March 31 this year to 5,122 individuals, state Department of Public Health data show.

"At least 90 percent of the cases we interview, when we ask who were their contacts ... they say, 'Well, I went on the Internet,' 'I went to a chat room' or 'I had an app that was on my phone,'" said Lee Eakins, county disease investigation supervisor. The health department has responded by creating a social networking database targeting apps linked to risky sex.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Timothy (ExPat in DC) Wed., May. 23, 2012 at 7:34 am EDT
Or, here's a crazy idea: Maybe we should teach comprehensive sex education so teens will know how to protect themselves? Proper condom use would have prevented this. Such a simple solution! We tech kids how to handle a loaded rifle so they know the dangers, but not their loaded gun.
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