The XX Factor

Stop the Unprotected Poking

Here’s a headline to post on your Facebook wall that’s sure to get at least three “likes” and an inane comment from a fratty dude you haven’t seen since ninth grade: ” Facebook linked to rise in syphilis .” Or so says a British health director, following the quasi-plausible logic that more people on social networks breeds more people meeting strangers online, which breeds more casual sex encounters that result in more bacteria in your genital region. Follow? From the Telegraph :

Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, claimed staff had found a link between social networking sites and the spread of the bacteria, especially among young women. He said: “Syphilis is a devastating disease. Anyone who has unprotected sex with casual partners is at high risk.

“There has been a fourfold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected with more young women being affected.

“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.”

It’s not clear yet what diseases MySpace, Facebook’s clearly sluttier sibling, is influencing; it’s only known that the general design of MySpace looks diseased. As for the Facebook/syphilis correlation? Uh, use protection! Also consider becoming a “fan” of antibiotics.