Sharp rise in STDs among homosexuals, from casual sex arranged via social media

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:42:38 +0000   eowyn2

It is now 34 years since the discovery and diagnosis of a peculiar and deadly disease afflicting homosexual men called acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS.

By now, knowledge of AIDS and of how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is transmitted (via sex and the exchange of bodily fluids) is commonplace. And yet, RT reports, May 30, 2015, that the U.S. is seeing a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among men who have sex with men, because of social media like Grindr.

Grindr logo

Grindr is a geosocial networking app (application) for homosexual, bisexual, and bi-curious men. The app runs on iOS and Android and is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app makes use of the device’s geolocation, which allows users to locate other men within close proximity through a user interface that displays a grid of representative pictures of men, arranged from nearest to farthest away. Tapping on a picture displays a brief profile of that user, as well as the option to chat, send pictures, and share one’s location.

Grindr.com screenshot

A report by the Rhode Island Department of Health points to an alarming rise of STDs among homosexual men in the state between 2013 and 2014, with gonorrhea up 30%, HIV infections up by 33%, and syphilis soaring a shocking 79%. The report says that “New cases of HIV and syphilis continued to increase among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men at a faster rate than in other populations,” with the greatest STD infection rates among “the African-American, Hispanic, and young adult populations.”

Health officials attribute the STD increase to “high-risk behaviors that have become more common in recent years,” including:

  • The use of social media like Grindr to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters.
  • Having sex without a condom.
  • Having multiple sex partners.
  • Having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Rhode Island officials say their alarming STD rates are part of a trend throughout the U.S., with spikes in HIV and syphilis from New York and Texas to Utah.

According to CDC data for the period between 2001 and 2011, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the rate of HIV infection dropped by 30% for the general population, but rose by 132.5% for “gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 and 24.”

An STD clinic in Salt Lake County, Utah, has started asking patients about specific contact apps. Lynn Beltran, an epidemiologist at the clinic, told ABC she had seen an uptick in syphilis and gonorrhea rates, and that many of the newly diagnosed patients said they were sexually active through dating apps. Beltran was not surprised to see a rise in STDs: “It’s been the perfect storm. Our attitude kind of shifted, where it became more acceptable to engage in casual sex.

But Anthony Hayes, managing director of public affairs and policy for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, resorts to the tired old tactic of scapegoating. He told ABC News that social media isn’t to blame so much as “our failure to provide young people with comprehensive, effective sex education and access to condoms” and affordable medical care.

The alarming increase in STDs among homosexuals is simply the latest confirmation of their irrepressible promiscuity. So much for National Review managing editor Jason Lee Steorts‘ attempt to sell same-sex marriage as homosexuals’ commitment to sexual exclusivity and fidelity. Steorts really must think we are stupid.

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~Éowyn

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