Archive for the ‘Free dating’ Category
Of the 131 quarterly infections in April to June, 65 were MSM infections and at least some of the 37 infections of so-far undetermined source were expected to fall into the same category, he said. The figure is both the highest quarterly number and ratio of MSM infections on record.
By contrast, Wong said, the trend for heterosexual infections had remained stable in recent years. “The MSM epidemic is a big challenge in HIV prevention and control,” he said, with rates many times higher than other at-risk groups.
Most infections in the MSM community result from unprotected sex. “I am not sure why but maybe some members in the (MSM) community are just ambivalent. They don’t have enough awareness or concern about the risk of infection, or they just ignore the issue,” said Wong.
In contrast to Grindr’s rapid popularity, the Department of Health’s mobile app targeting MSM has picked up few followers so far, Wong admitted.
The most effective way to tackle the epidemic, however, he said, was through safe sex education and regular HIV testing – something currently done by around 40 percent of Hong Kong’s MSM population.
“If safe sex can be taught at an early age, it is useful for future protection,” Wong said. “Interestingly, from the surveys we have done, we found that condom use when an MSM first has sex is correlated with consistent condom use in future.
“We don’t know why but this finding is quite consistent. So it would be useful if they could be taught to use condom when they have sex when they are still quite young.”
Paul Ramscar, a Hong Kong businessman and gay rights advocate who is launching a Pink Dollar smart phone app to promote gay-friendly bars, shops, nightclubs and restaurants, said it would be wrong to single out Grindr for blame in the rise in HIV cases.
“It’s a tragedy when this happens to someone but ultimately the buck stops with the individual. They need to be looking after their own health,” he said. “If they want to take the risks, if they want to play what is effectively Russian Roulette by not using a condom, then maybe there are going to be consequences.”
As this century dawned and half the world was waking up to the first day of the Noughties, I was walking down the Strand ending my seven year relationship. I was 35 and it felt like hell. Most of my friends and all of my siblings had children. I came from a family of six and in my twenties had never questioned that I would be a mother. But in fact I did not have that compelling need, as some women do, to have a baby. As my best childbearing years were already behind me, I accepted that I had probably missed that boat.
At first I quite liked being single again anyway. I liked running on the Common in the early mornings before work. I liked having the papers to myself on a Sunday. And I quite liked the open book my life had become. I went on some great holidays learning to sail with a crew of French and Irishmen off the coast of Cork; doing Tai Chi with a bunch of girls on a Greek Island and learning Thai massage from someone of dubious gender on a beach in Koh Phangan.
But going to parties alone, spending Christmas Day literally alone in my flat, twice, and worst of all, going to bed alone at night were not easy.
Over the next five years in between singles holidays and solitary Christmases I went from one cliche – the Office Christmas Party Romance With The Boss which lasted a year – to another, a three year dalliance with a man so afraid of commitment he would not buy cinema tickets in case he turned out not to like the film.
As I approached 40 instead of feeling panicked I began to feel a new confidence. No, I was not quite ready for spinsterhood yet. I clearly had a dodgy relationship radar, so maybe I needed to look in a different way. Perhaps technology could help. I knew the prejudices about online free dating: it was all married men looking for an extra-marital fling, no one looked like their picture and everyone lied about their age. But I had a friend, who had met his partner on line. He was genuine, he was kind, he was solvent, he was even handsome. My logic said that if he was out there, there might be more like him. I just had to look.