Authors of new HIV study in RI say online dating sites must do more to prevent disease

Category: News | Posted on: February 26th, 2016

By Richard Salit, Providence Journal Staff Writer

So many new cases of HIV infection in Rhode Island are linked to men meeting men through hook-up sites, according to new research, that the study’s authors are calling on the sites to do more to help prevent the spread of the sexually transmitted disease.

Three of every 10 new cases of HIV in Rhode Island in 2013 likely resulted from sexual encounters facilitated by online sites, according to the study published on Friday in the journal Public Health Reports.

Of 74 Rhode Islanders diagnosed with HIV in Rhode Island that year, 43 had sex with other men. Of those, 22 told researchers they suspected they were infected by men they met online.

“This is a statewide study that included nearly all individuals newly diagnosed with HIV across an entire state. This is one of the first studies to document how common Internet site use is among people newly diagnosed with HIV and highlights important opportunities to partner with hookup sites to advance public health,” study co-author Amy Nunn, associate professor of public health and medicine at Brown University and director of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, said in a news release.”

Read the full story