According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, men who have sex with men (MSM) in the city are more likely to find sex partners online, which the researchers link to a rise in regional syphilis infections among men with same-sex partners, the Chicago Tribune reports (chicagotribune, 7/14). Syphilis poses a fivefold increase in the risk of HIV transmission.  

According to the article, 34 percent of men diagnosed with syphilis at Chicago’s city-run STD clinics last year—most of whom said they have sex with other men—reported that they met their sex partners on the Internet, compared with 33 percent who met their partners at bars or clubs.

The Chicago health department is bolstering efforts to combat syphilis infection by putting more focus on syphilis on its Web site and launching an online educational campaign on STD prevention.