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Oregon county
begins online STD notification

Oregon county
begins online STD notification

Oregon's Multnomah County, which includes the city of Portland, this week began an online sexually transmitted disease notification system that has proven effective in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities, the Associated Press reports. Called, the Web site allows those diagnosed with an STD to send e-cards to their sexual contacts to warn them that they may have been exposed to the disease and should be screened for infection. The cards can be signed by the senders or sent anonymously. Each card contains a link to a Web site providing information about local STD testing, counseling, and treatment.

Health officials in Portland say that in the past health workers had the responsibility of contacting the sex partners of those who had tested positive for an STD to urge them to be screened. But because so many people--particularly gay men--now use the Internet to meet sex partners, often anonymously, frequently the only contact information available is an e-mail address or a screen name. So using the Internet to reach these people is actually more effective than standard contact methods, health experts say.

The Web site records no information about the senders or recipients of the e-cards, so contact is confidential, Oregon officials say. (The Advocate)

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