CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - According to new research by Anindya Ghose, New York University Stern School of Business Associate Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences, with doctoral student Jason Chan, the online classified may provide more than a forum for commerce and camaraderie, and indeed comes with a high cost.
The authors find that the expansion of Craigslist into different US states over eight years has increased the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) because of the personal ads that enable casual sexual encounters.
The authors constructed a nationwide panel of data, consisting of the rates of new STD cases in 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) from 1998 to 2005. Among the STDs reported, they focused on AIDS and syphilis. 137 million ads were created in the analysis period, with a mean of 83,878 ads generated in each state per quarter.
The authors found Craigslist leads to a 14% increase in the rate of new AIDS cases, and creates an 18.8% increase in the rate of new syphilis cases.
According to public health nurses at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, there is no known direct link between sexually transmitted diseases and Craigslist. However, after learning about what is available on the popular website they are not surprised.
"This certainly takes the cake, I haven't seen anything like it," said Charlotte Craig-Executive Director CCPHC.
Cape Girardeau County has seen an increase in syphilis cases.
Health professionals don't recommend people respond to these ads, but say if you do always use protection.