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Substantial Proportion of STI Consultations Involve Swingers

Last Updated: June 25, 2010.

Swingers -- heterosexuals who practice mate swapping or group sex or visit sex clubs as couples -- make up a considerable proportion of consultations for sexually transmitted infections and should be identified and treated as a risk group for transmitted infection prevention and care services, according to research published online June 24 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Swingers -- heterosexuals who practice mate swapping or group sex or visit sex clubs as couples -- make up a considerable proportion of consultations for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and should be identified and treated as a risk group for STI prevention and care services, according to research published online June 24 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Nicole H.T.M. Dukers-Muijrers, Ph.D., of the South Limburg Public Health Service in Geleen, Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from an STI clinic over a two-year period on 8,971 consultations.

The researchers found that swingers made up 12 percent of STI diagnoses, compared to 13 percent for men who have sex with men. Older swingers (older than 45) had a 10 percent prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and a 4 percent prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhoea. A 55 percent share in STI diagnoses in those over 45 belonged to swingers (versus 31 percent for men who have sex with men).

"Swingers differ from non-swinging heterosexual adults by their sexual network, typed by concurrent sexual partners, and high rate of unprotected sex. These risk behaviors make swingers more prone to STI as confirmed by our study. Potentially, they may act as an STI transmission bridge to the entire population. By identifying and testing swingers (regularly) for STI, the individual and population burden of STI as well as the spread of STI can be reduced," the authors conclude.

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