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MANHUNT Leads Fight Against Spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections with Launch of MANHUNT Cares; Hires Senior Public Health Strategist from CDC
Date:11/11/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Ken Herron, Chief Marketing Executive at Online Buddies Inc., the parent company of MANHUNT, announced today that David S. Novak of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will join the team at Online Buddies, Inc. as the site's first Senior Public Health Strategist. MANHUNT, the leading social networking site for gay men, with 2,000,000 members worldwide, is the first social networking site to address the ever-increasing spread of sexually transmitted infections via the Internet by funding a health position. No other site, including Facebook and Myspace, has a similar staff position.

In his new role, Mr. Novak will oversee sexual health-related issues pertaining to MANHUNT and its members through the site's new online health center, MANHUNT Cares (http://www.MANHUNTCares.net). Mr. Novak will act as MANHUNT's spokesperson and ambassador to the CDC and will work hand-in-hand with state health departments and community-based organizations to assist them in notifying men who may have been exposed to an STI.

"It's important to note that MANHUNT's strict privacy policy assures no personal member data is ever shared with public health departments or community-based organizations performing health work on our site and that no names of any individuals notified are ever collected," explained Mr. Novak at this morning's announcement from Online Buddies Inc.'s offices in Cambridge. "Newly infected individuals share screen names of men possibly exposed to the infection with trained public health professionals who then e-mail the members, without ever revealing the source."

David S. Novak joins MANHUNT after five years in government agencies. He has authored and co-authored several important Internet partner notification publications including the STD Directors Guide to Working with MANHUNT; Acceptability of an Internet-Based Partner Notification System for Sexually Transmitted Infection Exposure Among Men Who Have Sex With Men, published in the June 2008 edition of The American Journal of Public Health; and HIV and STD Status Among MSM and Attitudes About Internet Partner Notification for STD Exposure, published in the February 2008 journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

"MANHUNT has long been a leader in health outreach on the Internet," added Mr. Herron. "In the past five years, we have partnered with over 300 state and local health departments and community-based organizations around the world to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections."

Contact: Jeff Dorta, Project Publicity, NYC: 212-445-0099, jeff.dorta@projectpublicity.com


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