NATIONAL POST - Mar 11 - The growing spread of sexually transmitted disease in Canada may be at least partly the result of the Internet dating boom. The phenomenon seems particularly relevant to middle-aged and older people. According to a Leger Marketing survey last year, a quarter of Canadians have taken part in Internet dating, and 16% had sex with someone they met online. Middle aged and older people can be even less likely to use condoms, as the women are often beyond worrying about pregnancy, and the men are more prone to impotence and fear hampering their performance. Officials with the Ontario and Alberta health departments, however, said they have not uncovered hard evidence of a link between the popularity of online dating and the rise in STDs. As long ago as 2004, however, a research team at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta reported that 43% of the women they surveyed had had sex with someone they met first online, and tended to have a high rate of sexually transmitted infections.