PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As we’re about to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend, new research shows cupid is alive and well in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. But that could also come with a downside. In Philadelphia, sexually transmitted diseases are going unchecked.
It’s been a tough year for many single people, but a new report says dating isn’t dead, surprisingly, and neither are some of the potential hazards that come with it. The problem is, testing for STDs is down dramatically in Philadelphia.READ MORE: 'A Game Changer': CDC Recommends Johnson & Johnson's 1-Dose COVID Vaccine, Paving Way For Distribution To Begin
Love in the age of COVID, hope springs eternal.
“COVID is being killed by cupid. Cupid is winning,” Dr. Helen Fisher said.
The dating site Match says the pandemic has ushered in a new “dating renaissance.”
“Singles are spending a lot more time talking to people before they go out,” Fisher said.
A Match survey says singles are now making more time to look for love. They’re refining what they’re looking for in a partner and rethinking how and where they find love.
“I’m calling it intentional dating,” Fisher said.READ MORE: Irv Cross, Former Eagles Star DB And Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
The unintentional consequence of the new dating renaissance could be a spike in sexually transmitted diseases.
“A lot less people are getting tested,” Eric Paulukonis with the Mazzoni Center said.
Paulukonis is with the Mazzoni Center that provides STD testing for everyone but specializes in LGBTQA+ health services.
In Philadelphia, with some of the highest STD rates in the country, there’s been a dramatic drop in people getting tested for STDs because of the pandemic.
“It’s just incredible to think we were identifying so many cases before and now we’re not really testing that many people,” Paulukonis said.
Early stages of STDs like syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia often don’t come with symptoms. People could be unknowingly spreading the diseases if they have unprotected sex.
“The scary part is that there can be a lot of people out there who are infected,” Paulukonis said. “Therefore, they are potentially passing it on to other partners and not being treated themselves.”MORE NEWS: COVID In Philadelphia: City Easing More Restrictions Monday On Road To Recovery
The Mazzoni Center, like many health facilities, is offering a variety of safe options for testing.