It’s pretty good out there as far as dating and sexual health goes – most people seem to have at least a cursory interest in protecting themselves, and the fear of HIV/AIDS that plagued my parents’ generation has been replaced by some bloody good medical advances and preventative shots. But even with the trend towards health conscious testing and increased knowledge, it seems like STD’s are on the rise.
So, let’s clear some stuff up. First of all, as I learned in health class a few years ago, we now say STI not STD. (As a teacher, I get to experience health class every year, and trust me, it’s more educational now that we’ve moved on from just putting condoms on bananas).
The reason for the change in term? Well, the term ‘sexually transmitted diseases’ implied that there was a disease that could easily be seen with obvious signs or symptoms. But several of the more common STDs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of persons infected. Sexually transmitted infection makes more sense, as an infection can be invisible and does not have to lead to disease (think about chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, HPV …)
How does this link to your online dating life?
Well, it seems that people are not necessarily more prone to getting STI’s, it’s just that they are more aware if they have an STI. So is your GP, which is where these stats come from. However, there’s no excuse for being completely blasé about STI’s. People who use online dating platforms are also more generally proactive about their romantic life and tend to have more partners.
We all know that with more opportunities for sex there is more of a chance of getting an STI. So with party season approaching, you know what to do. Use a condom – they’re practically free, and they even have vegan ones now. Get tested; it’s also free. Don’t sleep with people who don’t take sexual health seriously (it’s a bigger turn-off than not owning books). Stay safe and keep swiping.