Recently I attended a forum on MRSA and Bathhouses.
One researcher reported that there is no correlation between MRSA (staph infection) and the number of sexual partners or types of sex acts one performs.
Washing up after sex plays a key role in contracting the bacterium that lives on moist, warm surfaces. The rate of MRSA cases in the Bathhouses was not significant. Private sex parties, however, were believed to place people at a higher risk of infection because of the use of dirty towels and the lack of post-coital bathing.
Bathhouses hold significant cultural meaning to the cohesiveness of the gay community in NYC and elsewhere. Historically, these sites were the few safe places where gay men could go to have sex without the fear of arrest or ridicule. Threats to close them will only push patrons to seek sex in more public places.