Is Technology Causing a Spike in STD Rates?

In addition to disrupting the dinner table, smart phones and other forms of technology have other dangerous impacts, it seems.

One study has shown that Craigslist, a website allowing users to sell their stuff and post personal ads, has increased STD rates; another links new hook-up apps Gindr and Tinder with climbing STD rates, too.

Here’s what you should know about technology and STD rates.

Is the Internet Behind Higher STD Rates?

Craigslist & HIV Diagnoses

One study examining the link between Craigslist and HIV diagnoses found that the prevalence of HIV from 1999 – 2008 increased by 15.9% thanks to the online personal ad site.

After studying the connection in 33 states, the study authors found that on average, Craigslist produces 6130 to 6455 cases of HIV nationwide. Paid transactions conducted via the site actually had a negative correlation to rising HIV rates.

Though posting the personal ads is free, the cost of rising STD rates is high, with $62 to $65.3 million dollars in treatment costs annually.

Hook-Up Apps & STD RatesUsing Phone

Craigslist isn’t the only online tool linked to higher STD rates. Among gay and bisexual men, casual sex apps like Grindr and Scruff have increased STD rates; those who use the apps for dates and sexual partners are 25% more likely to get gonorrhea and 37% more likely to get chlamydia.

Experts agree that these apps are causing riskier sexual behaviors. Not only do they enable easy casual hook-ups, identifying nearby interested partners, they also normalize these behaviors, making it socially acceptable to engage in potentially dangerous sexual situations. Considerations about sexual health — like whether your partner has had recent STD testing — aren’t addressed.

Fight Rising STD Rates at Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park

Unfortunately, the spread of technology seems to beget the spread of STDs.

You can help combat this correlation with regular STD testing. Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park offers reliable, confidential STD testing in the Kansas City area. Visit us today, no appointment or doctor’s orders needed, or call (913) 815-0988 for more information.


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