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Facebook linked to rise in syphilis

Facebook has led to a resurgence in the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis. The social networking site has given people a new way to meet multiple partners and indulge in casual sex.

entertainment Updated: Mar 25, 2010 12:41 IST

logoSocial networking site Facebook has led to a resurgence in the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis, say health experts.

The virus has increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular, because it has given people a new way to meet multiple partners for casual sexual encounters, reported telegraph.co.uk.

"Staff had found a link between social networking sites and the rise in cases, especially among young women. Syphilis is a devastating disease. Anyone who has unprotected sex with casual partners is at high risk," said Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside.

"I don't get the names of people affected, just figures, and I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through these sites. Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex," he added.

A spokesperson for Facebook said: "Users should take precautions and be careful when meeting up with anyone they have met online.