You Can't Call STD Anymore, But It's Never Been Easier To Catch One
But it's not what you think.
Swipe left. Swipe right. Thanks to apps like Tinder there's a whole lot of swiping going on these days. But when was the last time you swiped down there? If you have to think about it, then chances are it's probably long overdue.
Just in case you're having a hard time following the conversation, we'll bring you up to speed -- we're talking about STI checkups, people.
While it's great that everybody's meeting, greeting, and ultimately "hooking up", the rates of STIs are continuing to rise in Australia -- and the reason why could be sitting in the palm of your hand -- quite literally.
A report published by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales has revealed there's been a spike in the rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis, with a particular increase among young heterosexual people in major cities.
One possible explanation for this is the way that we're meeting each other nowadays, with some experts even suggesting that dating apps are partially to blame.
Head of STI surveillance at Public Health England, Gwenda Hughes, told The Times sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health, including fertility problems, and eventually lead to serious damage to organs, including the brain and heart.
"[The increase in STIs] is likely to be a result of condomless sex," Hughes said. "We’ve got these apps and they enable people to find partners much more quickly."
The report also revealed that the safe sex practices of Aussies has dwindled since the '80s and '90s when young people were first shocked into having safe sex with the likes of the Grim Reaper ads.
What's worse, the report added that, despite all the evidence in the world that condoms protect you from contracting STIs, more people aged 15 to 29 years are having condomless sex.
There are a number of reason why this could be happening, including our overzealous confidence in modern-day medicine -- partially due to the belief that STIs aren't important health issues, and the misconception that STIs are something that can be cured simply by taking a magic pill -- aka antibiotics.
Let's face it, the last thing you wanna talk about when you're getting up close and personal with someone is STIs. This is compounded by our fear of screening and admitting just how many peeps we've hooked up with. But as experts suggest, there's clearly a national crisis in sexual health.
So where to from here?
In the report by Public Health England, it was suggested that strengthened local and national services are needed to ensure prevention, quick diagnosis and treatment. It was also noted that there needs to be a focus on "at risk" groups -- which surprisingly includes young heterosexual people.
Without doubt, there needs to be more focus on condom use to prevent STI transmission. But as NSW Health advised, there needs to be additional efforts to increase the rate of testing and re-testing, as well as partner notification.
That said, it comes back to you. So remember that next time you swipe right.