Manhunt makes moves against STDs

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In an effort to combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the online gay hookup site Manhunt.net has hired an employee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as starting a microsite promoting healthy sexual behavior.

David Novak — who will leave his STD-prevention position at the CDC next month — will serve as Manhunt’s senior public health strategist and will oversee sexual health-related issues pertaining to the website. Manhunt already launched a microsite, ManhuntCares.net, to address the needs of its members, many of whom pay around $30 a month to post profiles that advertise for sex partners.

According to a press release, Novak will act as Manhunt’s spokesman and ambassador to the CDC as well as work with state health departments and organizations to assist them in notifying men who may have been exposed to an STD.

Adam Segel, the CEO of Online Buddies, Manhunt’s parent company, stressed to Advocate.com the anonymity of the notification service.

“If someone on our website has contracted an STD, they know the responsible thing to do is let their partner know, but they may not have their direct contact information,” Segel said. “Through the website they can contact a health partner and say they slept with these seven men and these are their screen names. The health partner will tell these men that someone they slept with has an STD, but not who it was. Then they can get tested.”

The health groups that will act as third parties include organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and LifeorMeth. Segel stressed that Novak will work with health agencies in conservative cities, states, and countries that have been reluctant to partner with Manhunt in the past.

Read the full story from the Advocate.

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