According to a latest report, people who fear about suffering from sexually transmitted diseases are now turning to social media to get diagnosed.John Ayers, a senior researcher, said that 3 out of every 5 posts on STD forums of Redditare seeking a crowd diagnosis for any suspected infection in their genitals accompanied by an image as well. Even worse than that is the fact that 20% of the people making these posts have already diagnosed themselves from a doctor and come to Reddit for second opinion. He added that most of them are getting wrong advice from people and are spreading the infections further.
He also said that the reliance of people on the social media has partly led them to a STD epidemic. The research found that Frightened HIV positive patients receive comments on their posts within an hour telling them that they are not suffering from it.
HIV diagnosis has remained stable in the US in past few years but other STDs have seen a rise. There has been a 19% rise in Chlamydia cases since 2014. Gonorrhea cases have also rose by 63% in the same time period.
Infectious disease expert, Dr. Stacey Rizzasaid that she is disappointed that people are relying on social media for diagnosis rather than visiting a doctor for their STD diagnosis. She said that in her view, this isn’t a proper way to get diagnosed for any disease. She added that especially when it comes to infectious diseases, proper diagnosis from a doctor is very important as it can impact others as well.
Dr. AmeshAdajla says that healthcare experts should look at the bright side and get actively involved in these activities. He sees an opportunity in this new trend and believes that it will be beneficial for the future so that remote expert advices can be given to patients that are too embarrassed or shy to tell doctors about their issues face to face.