People Are Opting Reddit for Diagnosing STD, Study Finds

by Helen Gonzales
People Are Opting Reddit for Diagnosing STDs, Study Finds

The web, search engines, and social media play a significant role in keeping the world well-informed. Last week, a study had revealed that people are actively searching for the term CBD on Google. Now another study claims people are opting Reddit along with Google and other types of social media for a medical consult. They are more and more seeking for assistance and posting images of different conditions over social networks. The imagery even includes pictures of STDs, i.e., sexually transmitted diseases. The latest study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday, has unveiled the surprising fact.

As per the research, many users have been there to gain a second opinion. A team of data scientists in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has analyzed conversations on Reddit. They have concentrated on a substantial subreddit that holds r/STD an STD-dedicated health forum. Here people share stories, problems, questions, concerns, and even photographs related to STDs. Thus researchers have noted a massive rise in crowd-diagnosis over the past year. As per John Ayers, a co-lead author of the study, crown-diagnosis is a phenomenon when people appeal to unknown people on social media for guidance.

The trial has found thousands of posts, from people concerned about their sexual health, on the social platform. Surprisingly, many of the conversations include graphics like close-up shots of their genitals. Even more, some people have had offered every minute detail of their sexual history. Researchers have noted that the studied r/STD forum has more than 10,000 regular users. Besides, there exist some rusted contributors who have the authority to comment on people’s posts. Notably, so-called experts have not revealed any medical credentials. While experts warn, such blogs may divert people from visiting a doctor. Even more, it may result in false or late diagnosis, which may put their future partners at risk.

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