Online Dating Linked To Increased STD Cases In Hawaii
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Hawaii are at an all-time high in decades, which according to officials can be linked to the increase in online dating and hookups.
There has been a significant rise in the cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Hawaii due to the prevalence of online dating, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. The reported cases were highest in 30 years according to the Department of Health's Harm Reduction Services Branch.
Chlamydia cases went up from 5,972 cases in 2008 to 7,732 in 2018, whereas gonorrhea cases more than doubled from 611 to 1,496 cases in the last 10 years. Syphilis cases increased from 38 a decade ago to 180 cases in 2018.
According to officials, the increasing connections with other people due to online dating could be behind the undesirable and unexpected rise in the case of STDs.
"As people rely on digital means of making connections, it can lead to circumstances where they might be more exposed to infection without them knowing it. More partners, more chances to get infections," said Gerald Hasty, program coordinator for the state harm reduction branch.
The decreasing use of protection like condoms and prophylactics also has contributed to the increase in the cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections.
"That sets the stage for the infections to be spread," Hasty said. "Lack of regular screenings or routine screenings contributes to increasing rates."
According to Hasty, the lack of distinct and troubling early symptoms of these STDs leave people with no idea that they have contracted the infection.
The number of STD cases, which correspond with the national rates, have risen for the fifth straight year, officials said.
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