Safety tips for visiting your internet fiancée

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Press release date: 29th January 2015

In these modern times, more people than ever are meeting their partners via the internet.

Often, these couples find themselves travelling long distances to meet their loved one in person for the first time. Although this can be an exciting step in a relationship, this type of travel comes with its own health risks.

A U.S. based research group recently collected data on 4000 patients over 24 months and found that 48 of these patients were intending to meet an online partner.

This new group of international travellers, known as ‘Visiting Internet Fiancés/ées’ or VIF, is predominantly made up of men over the age of 39 and women under the age of 35.

In the study, it was found that men were primarily travelling to Asia while women were mainly travelling to Africa. It also found that men stayed an average of two weeks while the majority of women had an ‘open’ itinerary.

Because of the destinations these VIFs are travelling to, and the likelihood of them engaging in sexual activity, they are at an increased risk of STIs and other safety concerns.

Check out TMB’s tips below on how to make sure you’re safe should you be visiting your online partner abroad.

Protect against STIs

Many VIFs will be sexually active while abroad and will therefore be at an increased risk of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and also of unwanted pregnancy. It is important that the time is taken to read up on different methods of contraception before heading away as well as getting any vaccinations that may be required.

Protect against crime

VIFs can potentially become victims of crime as they often travel alone in a country they are unfamiliar with. Basic tips, such as ensuring they have a working mobile phone with the country’s emergency number, are essential to safety. It is also important that VIFs share their travel itineraries with somebody close to them. They should also avoid offering any bank information to their partner as there have been a number of instances of financial fraud by potential husbands and wives.

Protect against diseases

Often VIFs are travelling to places they may never have been before so it’s important to become aware of what vaccinations may be required before setting off. There is nothing more likely to ruin a romantic visit than to contract a potentially lethal disease that could have easily been prevented. TMB recommend getting vaccinated 4-6 weeks prior to travel although, it is never too late.

Dr. Kunal Patel, Consulting Physician in Tropical Medical Bureau, said, “The insightful research carried out by this U.S. based research group shows the need for healthcare providers and patients to understand the different types of travellers, including those that seek relationships abroad.”

He added,“With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many online partners will be meeting for the first time. It is important that anybody choosing to travel abroad to see a loved one takes the time to make sure they are protected against any harmful situations that could potentially ruin their trip.”

Tropical Medical Bureau have 20 clinics nationwide.

For further information on vaccinations or to book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.

 

 

 

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