Hawaii’s health alert: Increase of STDs show highest numbers in decades due to online dating

By: |
Published: October 14, 2019 12:54:20 PM

The increase is "not desirable, but it's also not unexpected." The three infections do not cause distinct or troubling early symptoms so those who are infected have "absolutely no idea of it," Hasty said.

Hawaii, hawaii health alert, STDs, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, sexually transmitted diseases, chlamydia, lifestyleSyphilis infections increased to 180 cases from 38 a decade ago, officials said. (Reuters)

An increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Hawaii to the highest numbers reported in decades can be linked to the prevalence of online dating, officials said. Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased significantly in the state, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday. All three infections were at or near their highest rates in about 30 years, according to the state Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch.

Hawaii health officials recorded 7,732 cases of chlamydia in 2018, up from 5,972 cases in 2008. Gonorrhea more than doubled over the past 10 years from 611 to 1,496 cases. Syphilis infections increased to 180 cases from 38 a decade ago, officials said.

More connections with many more people are made rapidly through online dating services, officials said. “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,” said Gerald Hasty, program coordinator for the state harm reduction branch. “More partners, more chances to get infections.”

There has also been decreasing reliance on condoms or prophylactics for protection against acquiring or spreading STDs, officials said. The Hawaii figures correspond with the national rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections, which have risen for the fifth year in a row, officials said.

The increase is “not desirable, but it’s also not unexpected.” The three infections do not cause distinct or troubling early symptoms so those who are infected have “absolutely no idea of it,” Hasty said. “That sets the stage for the infections to be spread,” Hasty said. “Lack of regular screenings or routine screenings contributes to increasing rates.”

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Next Stories
1Don’t obsess over local stents, here’s why
2Lactose intolerance: Thinking beyond mainstream milk options
3WHO paper praises Modi government! Ayushman Bharat a shining example, says Dr. Harsh Vardhan