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Outdoor s_x websites used for health warning

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Websites advertising a craze for outdoor s_x are being used by health chiefs to warn of a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

Dozens of websites listing secluded car parks and beauty spots popular for the practice, called dogging, have appeared on the Internet.

They advertise specific locations for "outdoor fun and frolics", but health bosses say there is a possible link between the trend and a rise in diseases such as hepatitis B.

Several people given treatment for hepatitis B told doctors in Kent that they had taken part in voyeuristic "dogging" sessions, which involve people watching others having s_x, or joining in themselves.

Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, director of the Kent Health Protection Unit, said: "I am not sitting in moral judgement on people, or telling them how to behave.

"All we are saying is that if you have unprotected s_x with a stranger you are, of course, more likely to be at risk from a sexually transmitted disease.

"We noticed an increase in cases of hepatitis B towards the end of last year, and some of the people we saw told us they had taken part in these dogging practices. Instead of the usual one or two cases, there were more than a dozen cases over a six-month period.

"As a result, we asked the health protection unit to place a warning on the websites urging people to take precautions."