These days, scoring a hooking up are easier than ever. With an abundance of classified ads seeking casual encounters on Craigslist, and hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr, a sexual encounter is right at your fingertips. However, with this increased ease and significant level of anonymity, comes an increased concern for STDs.
The impulsive ability to find an encounter at any time leads to a web of hookup, quite possibly in a short amount of time. If someone were to contract an STD, that STD could spread furiously. A study by the University of Minnesota researched this matter. They concluded that, between the years of 1999 and 2008, Craigslist casual encounters were guilty of causing a 15.9 percent rise in HIV cases. This is a startling revelation, as hookup apps are only becoming more popular in recent years. While the increase of HIV/AIDS was more influenced by men seeking other men, women were not excluded. An increase in syphilis was also noted and was mostly commonly associated with heterosexual encounters.
Keep in mind there are many common STDs. For instance, the CDC estimates at least 75% of reproductive-aged people have come into contact with, or have been infected by human papillomavirus (HPV). They also estimate 15% of these people are actively infected at any given time. It’s also estimated that 1 in 5 of this age group is infected with Herpes, women an African Americans were somewhat more commonly affected. Neither of these diseases can be fully prevented by condom usage.
The decreased odds of being in contact with a casual hookup later on, diminishes the likelihood of a making or receiving a call if and STD is discovered. There is a clandestine nature to casual hookups via the internet; many times these are one-time meetups. This increases the risk of STDs spreading, and precautions do need to be taken to protect you.
In addition to the obvious, and very necessary, practice of safe sex, regular STD checks are vital to your health and well-being. Many STDs have no noticeable symptoms but can have truly detrimental effects. Everyone should make it a point to check for STDs regularly, however the frequency of testing will need to rise when there is a higher frequency of hookups, especially of the casual nature. While we do hear a lot about websites and apps used for this nature, it’s important to remember that testing is necessary regardless of where and how the hookup came about.