Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise for the first time in roughly a decade and online dating could be a contributing factor.
‘Swiping right’ and knowing very little about the person you’re meeting online, could be factors in the latest numbers.
Reported cases of three STD’s — chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — have increased for the first time since 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Young people ages 15 to 24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STD’s each year, which cost the United States an annual $16 billion.
The biggest spike is in the rate of syphilis, up 15-percent since 2013.
With more and more Americans turning to online and mobile dating sites, it’s hard to know how much of a role that behavior may play, but the nature of these sites means cases of disease are also hard to track, says Dr. Peter Beilenson, CEO of Evergreen Health.
“Public health succeeds by tracking the partner and getting that person treated. And with online dating and people not even knowing who the person is, if you come down with chlamydia or gonorrhea, let’s say, and you want to make sure you treat the partner, there’s no way of knowing who the partner is.”