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Utopia Talk / Politics / I want to post a pic of my dick here
| Wed Nov 06 03:20:23|
I feel more comfortable with you guys than with the creeps on reddit, we are much closer, more like brothers.
Is it ok with you? Any doctors among you?
People are posting their genitals on Reddit to ‘diagnose’ STDs
November 5, 2019
Social media is rife with graphic images of genitals — but not always for the reasons you think.
The high cost of health care as well as the shame that often comes with discussing sensitive subjects with doctors are leading sick people to crowdsource Google, Reddit and other internet research sources for a medical diagnosis — especially those related to STDs, according to new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It’s a trend, researchers found, that has skyrocketed in 2019.
“Online someone can post a picture yet remain mostly anonymous,” Dr. Eric Leas of the University of California, San Diego, who worked on the study, told CNBC. “This can overcome some of the embarrassment that might come with going to ask a doctor.”
Considering rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia hit an all time high in 2018, doctors worry that this trend may indicate there are many patients out there not receiving proper treatment for their illnesses.
“Shame or a lack of access means many are missing an opportunity to get professional, life-saving help,” says study co-author Dr. Davey Smith, the chief of infectious diseases and global public health at UC San Diego.
Researchers decided to focus on Reddit, a site that hosts hundreds of thousands of subject-specific forums, called Subreddits, some of which pertain to health and medicine. Specifically, posts in the community r/STD, which has more than 10,000 members, including some certified physicians, were analyzed for a period starting November 2010 through February of this year — a total of 16,979 threads.
Study authors revealed a steady rise in the group’s activity. There were just eight posts total between November and December of 2010. By November and December of 2018, there was close to 850.
Overall, 58 percent of all posts found explicitly asked members to ponder a diagnosis, and 31 percent of those included a photo of their symptoms.
“What is wrong with my penis?” wrote one user recently on r/STD, which includes four links to images to demonstrate the symptoms. The worried patient went on to explain a mysterious occurrence of “pimples” on his genitals, and also mentioned concurrent “flu like symptoms.” Other discussions in the community — for example, “White thing on inside of foreskin” and “Anyone think this looks like HPV?” — show the many creative explanations for unusual symptoms posited by members, including ingrown hairs, overly eager masturbation, and the ever-popular diagnosis of genital herpes.
Researchers found that many are turning to social media to avoid an embarrassing, in-person conversation with their doctor, while others may be looking for “a sense of connection” by commiserating with strangers on the internet, says study co-lead Dr. Alicia Nobles. The armchair physicians of Reddit are fast, too, as close to 90 percent of users received a response to their concern within the first 24 hours.
“Social media was not built to deliver health care,” Nobles says. “Currently, we don’t know if STDs, or other health issues, can be accurately diagnosed online, especially since people’s requests vary in the information they provide.”
While a lucky few may be led to a proper prognosis, a misdiagnosis, Nobles cautions, “could result in greater harm to themselves or passing an infection along to others.”
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