Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report stating that the United States is facing a record-breaking surge in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
According to health officials, an increased number of cases in STDs in Hawaii has been linked to an increased use of online dating services.
On Sunday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia have increased substantially in the state. The officials said the cases of all of these infections have reached all-time high in nearly 30 years.
Public health officials in Hawaii reported more than 7,730 cases of chlamydia and nearly 1,500 cases of gonorrhea in 2018, which have significantly increased in the last decade. They also reported 180 cases of syphilis, up from 38 in 2008.
The officials said most cases were linked to the use of online dating services.
Gerald Hasty, the program coordinator for the state harm reduction branch, 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. More partners, more chances to get infections.”
The health officials also noted that there has been a steady decline in the use of condoms and other prophylactic methods for protection against STDs.
In Hawaii, the number of cases of STDs have increased for the fifth year in row. The officials said, “The increase is not desirable, but it’s also not unexpected.”
Hasty said, “The three infections do not cause distinct or troubling early symptoms so those who are infected have absolutely no idea of it.” “That sets the stage for the infections to be spread,” the program coordinator added. “Lack of regular screenings or routine screenings contributes to increasing rates.”