Medical News

Disease Risk Higher for Swingers Than Prostitutes

June 29, 2010

Straight swingers experience higher levels of sexually transmitted disease than prostitutes, according to a recently published study.

Among swingers, couples over 45 who regularly swap sexual partners and meet for group sex are particularly at risk, the Dutch researchers reported.

"Although exact estimates are unavailable, the swingers' population is probably large," wrote Anne-Marie Niekamp, one of the Maastricht University researchers involved in the study.

The researchers analyzed the history of patients at three sexual health clinics in the Netherlands' city of South Limburg between 2007 and 2008. One in nine patients self-identified as a swinger; the average age of swingers was 43.

Combined rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea were just above 10 percent among straight individuals, 14 percent among gay men, just under 5 percent among female prostitutes, and 10.4 percent among swingers.

Swingers constitute a largely hidden population and thus are difficult to reach with information about the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, Niekamp said.

"Because they are so hidden and in some ways also stigmatized, it is hard for them to come forward for STI testing and treatment," Niekamp said.

The full report, "Older and Swinging; Need to Identify Hidden and Emerging Risk Groups at STI Clinics," was published online in Sexually Transmitted Infections (2010; doi:10.1136/sti.2009.041954).

Back to other news for June 2010

Adapted from:
06.23.2010; Kate Kelland

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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