Sexually transmitted infections (STI). It’s not exactly a favorite subject to talk about, but it affects a lot of people and can be very serious. Unfortunately, each new year brings around 19 million new STI cases. These are staggering numbers for something that can be easy to prevent with safe sex practices. As a reaction to stats like those, one online dating company believes it has the responsibility to lead the way in creating STI awareness, and helping to put an end to the spread of infection.
PriceDate.com has recently begun a PSA campaign to shed light on how many people are affected by STIs, and to provide encouragement for everyone to get tested regularly. At first, the popular online dating company doesn’t seem like the likeliest hero in the fight against STIs, however PriceDate felt like it needed to help its users stay safe and healthy.
The owner of PriceDate, Alex Greenberg, actually feels that “online dating companies have a moral obligation to promote safe sex and STI awareness amongst their users.” For PriceDate, it’s a no-brainer, and even an imperative, to help promote safe sex practices and keep its users—and
Cold Hard Facts
Why does PriceDate feel the need to help? Online dating companies’ users are looking for love, and sometimes love can lead to sex. With user bases who are actively engaging in sexual activity, online dating companies can serve their users best by encouraging safe behaviors. In fact, a recent survey found that 43% of women had sex with a date they met online, and had a higher risk for contracting an STI. Men don’t fare much better, with a 25% higher risk of gonorrhea, when using social dating applications. This higher risk of online daters to contract an STI is why PriceDate knows it has to take action to spread awareness.
Given the vast number of people who are affected by preventable STIs, spreading awareness of safe sex practices is of great necessity. Perhaps the most startling statistic is that a vast percentage of people infected with STI’s don’t even know they have one.
Through encouraging safe practices through social media, and encouraging regular testing, the percentage of those with STIs can hopefully be decreased significantly as people start to practice safer sex and also get treated for curable infections. It’s PriceDate’s mission to remove the worry of health risks from the dating experience; entering the online dating pool can be stressful enough on its own.
The Real Life Nightmare
As startling as STI statistics may be, what’s even more startling are the real life horror stories from people who have contracted these preventable infections.
Ruby M from Sacramento, California shared with us, “I was fortunate (but unfortunate) enough to contract Chlamydia, which is treatable. The embarrassment of finding out I had a disease and having to tell my partners they needed to get tested was terrible. I wouldn’t wish that situation on my worst enemy.”
Jonathan A from Ontario wasn’t so lucky. Jonathan found out he had HPV, the virus that causes genital warts, back in 2012 and that he had passed it to his long time girlfriend at the time. They are no longer dating. He said, “Finding out I had this STI that’s untreatable changed my life. It was bad enough that I passed it to my then girlfriend, but trying to date new partners now that I’m newly single again is even more difficult. It’s so much easier to have safe sex in the first place than to live the rest of your life with something like this.”
Dr Janet Hall of Australia recently addressed the growing rate of STI infections among seniors in her article, “The generation that keeps on lovin’, but at what cost?”
In the article, Dr Hall points out, “In general, our older generation grew up with a code of silence around sex, but now they are more open about talking about and experimenting with sex. It’s much easier to meet new partners with the advent of internet dating and the ease of international travel.”
This unfortunate trend is one that doesn’t discriminate based on age, and the rise of online dating users only makes it easier to meet new partners.
A “Challenge” to Other Online Dating Companies
“If online dating companies really care about their user base, they will bring this to the forefront,” says Greenberg, “It’s my hope that some of the major players in the online dating arena will shed some light on inherent STI risks. Awareness and education are the keys to reducing the stigma of getting tested (and treated).”
So who’s going to the be the next online dating company to jump on the STI awareness bandwagon?
You Can Make a Difference
As a company that excels at bringing people together for social interaction, it makes complete sense that PriceDate has chosen to use social media to help spread its campaign for STI awareness.
Readers are encouraged to use the hashtags #GetTested #WrapIt and #SafeOnlineDating to spread awareness for the campaign and help keep daters healthy. Another way to spread awareness and encourage people to get tested is to share the Infographic that accompanies this article.
Along with using the hashtags on social media and sharing the Infographic, PriceDate is hoping users will also take action in real life. Getting tested on a regular basis and wearing condoms during sex are two of the most important, and surprisingly easy, ways to protect yourself. Keep yourself safe, and encourage your friends to do the same using those three hashtags on social media. With everyone’s help, it’s possible to keep online dating full of love and not full of risk.