Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are something all people have to consider when they engage in online dating. You have to consider that some people you meet may have them and may not disclose them. Getting the facts about STDs and online dating help you to ensure that you know what to expect and can protect yourself.
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People Do Not Feel an STD is an Automatic Dealbreaker
STDs do still carry a stigma, but this stigma does not carry the same weight that it used to. More people are open to dating those who have an STD as long as they disclose it early in the relationship.
This could be because STDs are no longer considered uncommon. Most people know at least one person who had an STD at some point in their life or are living with an incurable one. It could also be related to the fact that there are ways to prevent transmission as long as both partners are diligent and protect themselves properly.
There Are Websites for Singles with STDs
Those with STDs who prefer not to have a conversation with someone about their status can join a dating site that focuses on those with these conditions. This can make it easier since all members expect each other to have an STD.
On these sites, you usually will disclose the one that you have. However, instead of this setting you apart, it can help to match you with people who have a similar condition. This allows you to avoid the awkwardness of having to discuss your illness and how you acquired it.
There are a few different sites that are focused on those with STDs. You can choose to join one or a few, depending on how many potential matches that you want to expose yourself to.
Hookup Websites Blamed for Increase in STDs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are saying that online dating is playing a role in the increase in STDs. For the most part, they are saying that they believe that hookup sites and apps are among those that are responsible.
When people are using hookup sites and apps, it is easy to be focused on the purpose of the site instead of on your sexual health. This can result in people being more impulsive and doing things that they would not normally do, including having unprotected sex with people who they just met.
One of the biggest STDs that is on the rise is syphilis. According to the CDC, since 2013, cases of this STD have increased by 15%. While this specific infection is treatable and typically has no lasting effects when treated in a timely manner, there is the risk of passing it on to every person you have sex with when the infection is present.
To ensure that you are protected against infection, it is important to learn about the STD status of those who you plan to sleep with. If you already have an STD, you need to ensure that you disclose it before getting intimate.
One in 25 People Have an STD
When you engage in online dating, you have to expect that at least some people you connect with will have an STD. This is because they are not uncommon anymore. Globally, about one in 25 people have some form of STD. In some cases, a person can have more than one.
You should always practice safe sex and make sure that you are honest about your status if you have one. When you are dating someone, do not be shy about asking them their status. If they get apprehensive about talking about it, it is okay to walk away.
Dating App Users Are More Likely to Have an STD
There is some disagreement about whether using these apps is directly responsible for this phenomenon. However, it cannot be refuted that the incidence of STDs is higher among people who regularly use dating apps.
It is believed that this is due to them being more likely to engage in casual sex without first taking the time to learn about their partner’s sexual health.
Some experts say that this conversation is alarmist. They do not refute that people who use dating apps are at a higher risk for infection. However, they say that these people tend to have more active sex lives and still would even if the apps they use did not exist.
It is true that many dating apps are focused on casual relationships. The people who join them are often not seeking out a long-term soulmate. Instead their purpose is to help people hookup with locals when they get the need to do this. When people are focused on hooking up, they are far less likely to get information about their partner’s sexual health which puts them at risk.
Many Dating Sites Do Not Take Part in Active STD Prevention
Some experts say that some of the popular dating apps are resisting joining in to help to educate people about STDs and how to reduce their risk. These same sites and apps are said to not take a proactive approach in advising people to discuss their sexual health with their partners either.
One UCLA researcher believes that these sites do not want to talk about STDs because there is still a bit of a stigma surrounding them. It is believed that if they start talking about STDs and helping to educate about them that people will start to associate the sites and apps with STDs.
Since people often do not want to think about STDs when they are engaging in online dating, these sites sort of just ignore the potential for infection. This has resulted in an increase in STDs related to online dating app users, according to some experts.
Some Dating Apps Have Been Implicated in STD Outbreaks
One study explored the link between Craigslist and an increase in HIV. It determined that this site was associated with a 16% increase in cases. The study looked at cases that occurred between 1999 and 2008 in 33 states.
There was also a syphilis outbreak in Nevada that experts looked at possibly being linked to online dating. The experts who sought out the cause of the outbreak said that Grindr and similar sites that are designed for hookups played a major role. These experts stated that these apps and sites are increasing how many people use social media to have anonymous sex.
It is Best to Not Advertise Your Status on Your Profile
While being upfront about having an STD is very important, the experts advise against putting this information on your dating profile. The one exception to this rule would be if you are on a dating site for positive singles since it is expected that the members will have an STD.
They say that while you definitely need to be honest before engaging in any sexual activity, you should not rush into telling your dating partner. Instead, get to know each other first and then once you start to become more serious, start talking about your sexual health. This can make it easier to breach the subject and have a real conversation.
Incurable STDs Affect 25% of the Population
Incurable STDs include those like herpes and HIV. There are treatments that help to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection, but ultimately, the only surefire way to stop transmission is to completely abstain from sex.
It is important to know that incurable STDs affect 25% of the population in the US. With more than 10% of people actively using online dating regularly, this means that thousands of people have an STD and they could become a match for you. Because of this, you want to consider what you want and whether you are comfortable dating a positive single before you start online dating.
Some People Are Calling for STD Verification
While there are no websites that ask for such information, there are some people talking about approaching dating websites to ask them to implement STD verification. This would mean having to upload test results to prove that you do not have an STD. Some people think that this would help to keep people safe from those who do not disclose their status.
However, there is also fear of discrimination with this. You also have to consider that with things like Photoshop, plenty of people could create fake lab reports that make them appear not infected when they actually have an STD which could result in false verifications.
Some Websites Are Partnering with Health Departments
Some websites are starting to partner with health departments to promote awareness and education about STDs and safe sex. On some of these sites, there are forums and similar features that people can use to learn about STDs, outbreaks in certain areas and even how to prevent them.
This is helping to ensure that people are safe when they are dating online. It can also help to alleviate the stigma.
Men Tend to Develop STDs More Often Than Women
No matter their sexuality, the prevalence of STDs appears to be higher in men. This means that women and gay men need to be diligent when they are meeting men online. This is especially true when it comes to chlamydia and HIV.
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