Sexually transmitted infections are a thing of the past, but in the most recent years the rate in which sexually transmitted infections have been prevalent in South Africa has been on the rise and it is alarming. One of the sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea has shown a drastic increase from about 8300 cases in 2006 to about 18600 cases in 2015. In about a decade, the number of cases for gonorrhea has more than doubled which is drastic. When thinking about other sexually transmitted infection the number of increased cases are just as drastic. Syphilis has tripled in numbers and chlamydia has jumped by 43 percent in the same timeframe measured for gonorrhea. With this drastic increase of sexually transmitted infection, people are wonder why such the drastic change.
Some experts believe that due to the increase in people being interested in testing for sexually transmitted infection, it is being uncovered that more sexually transmitted infection are present. The test are becoming more accurate in detecting more and more infections and people are more interested in testing for these infections due to the more advanced technology being available. Uncovering more people who are living with sexually transmitted infections is a very good thing but it is making it appear that there is a drastic problem occurring instead of looking at the positive side of people getting the care that they need and being in the know.
One aspect is considered to be the advanced testing available to detect the infections but another avenue that is being explored is the huge interest of online dating and the popularity it has grown to over the past ten years. Experts believe that online dating has a single hand effect on the sexual lives of people in a community due to the websites and apps that have been developed and still being developed, designed to promote sexual hook-ups and romance everywhere. Some people love these websites and applications while others may hate them. One definite attribute that we can identify is that these avenues for meeting people definitely has an impact on the spreading of sexually transmitted infections. These dating sites and apps make it very easy to have sex with multiple people in a very short period of time. In South Africa, it has been reported that about 35 percent of men and 21 percent of women who are sexually active have more than five sexual partners in one year. Men that use online dating avenues or applications to seek out sexual partners, are typically six times more likely to have more than five sexual partners than a man who does not use online and application dating avenues to meet people. The more people who are joining these alternative dating avenues online and through apps only equal more people per person that a person is having sex with, which further leads to more acquisition and transmission of sexually transmitted infections.
The concept alone of online dating does not cause one to be more susceptible in contracting a sexually transmitted infection but the carelessness that people have and lack of precaution that is taken when online dating is in the mix rises. It has been observed that people are much more relaxed when it comes to online dating then they would be if they were to meet these same people in person. Online avenues provide a barrier for people to let their guard down and hide behind technology. If it does not work out online then the person can move to the next willing participants and do not have to worry about public humiliation or the face to face embarrassment that is a potential for in person dating.
To speak to the laxed behavior people exemplify, let’s consider the condom usage percentage as observed in a poll captured in South Africa. South Africans have indicated that only about 35 percent of the people who have hooked up with people online used a condom in their last sexual encounter. This is a definitive indications that may lead us to link sexually transmitted infections to the behaviors fostered by online dating and dating apps.