Rhode Island: Social Media, Hookup Apps Blamed For Spikes In Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Other STDs

street-girls

 reports: New cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and HIV are on the rise in Rhode Island, a trend that the state health department attributed in part to social media as people increasingly turn to their phones to arrange “casual and often anonymous sexual encounters.” Better testing has also contributed to the rising number of infections, the department said.

“This trend reminds us that we cannot become complacent.”

— Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director designee at the Rhode Island Department of Health

“Despite the progress we have made in reducing STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] and HIV over the years, there is more work to do,” Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director designee at the Rhode Island Department of Health, said in a release. “This trend reminds us that we cannot become complacent.”

Teen Girl Using Computer --- Image by © L. Clarke/CORBIS

“The ease of seeking sex partners through classified ad sites may promote risky behaviors that increase transmission of STDs.”

From 2013 to 2014, syphilis cases rose by 79 percent, gonorrhea by 30 percent and HIV cases by nearly 33 percent, the department said. New cases of these increased faster among men who have sex with men and had a greater impact on African-Americans and Hispanics as well as on youth.

[Read the full text here, at International Business Times]

Although the health department stated that the rising rates followed national trends, the most recent data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that from 2012 to 2013, rates of gonorrhea remained stable and rates of syphilis increased only among men. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Outlets & Plugs: Why Are Boys and Girls Different? Chinese Sex Education Video

Tea Leaf Nation‘s Liz Carter writes:

…These slickly produced videos, which depict a hand drawing cartoon figures, are likely not aimed at young ones, but instead at parents searching for narratives to pass on to their children: The rapid-fire voiceovers use some high-school level vocabulary, including two bleeped cusswords hopefully outside most primary school students’ lexicon. Given a widespread reluctance to talk birds and bees — in China’s version of the stork story, parents often tell children that they were picked up “out of a garbage dump” — the Nutcracker narrator is something of a myth-buster for the young and for the ill-informed. The language and visual illustrations have amused adult viewers with hilariously off-color comparisons: In the first video, the narrator explains insemination by comparing it to an injection received at a hospital. The second clip, called “Why Are Boys and Girls Different?” addresses anatomical differences by likening male and female reproductive organs to electrical outlets and plugs. (The caption on the photo, from the second video, states: “Why does that boy have a little pee-pee and you don’t?”)

SexEdVideo

Because of China’s long-standing need for accessible, accurate sex ed, young adults might also find them edifying. On Sept. 29 Hu Zhen, an academic specializing in sex education issues, told China’s largest state-run news agency, Xinhua, that sex education in Chinese schools lagged “at least 60 years behind” Sweden and other developed countries, and emphasized that only about ten of China’s 180,000 primary schools, and only 500 to 600 of China’s approximately 500,000 secondary schools, were providing sex education.
Read the rest of this entry »