Sexual Health news - Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Game may help researchers learn why some choose not to use sexual protection

Each individual has a different motivation for using (or choosing to not use) sexual protection while engaging in intercourse, but until now, there has been little information on why people make certain decisions. A virtual game recently created by researchers may now be able to provide answers to why some people opt for condoms and other means of protection against communicable diseases.

Information on the project conducted by the experts was published in the Public Library of Science One journal on Jan. 9. The authors of the published paper state that they hope to use the online video game to ethically study what motivates individuals to use means of protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as gonorrhea and herpes.

"With this virtual world approach, we can do all kinds of policy experiments," Frederick Chen, an economist at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and the lead researcher in the development of the gonorrhea game, told FOX News. "We wanted to strip the problem down into the most essential components and to analyze incentives."

Gonorrhea and its effects
Gonorrhea is an STD that can affect both men and women. The infection can spread into the bloodsteam if it's not treated in a timely manner, and it can reduce fertility in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it's possible to eliminate gonorrhea once it's been diagnosed in a patient using antibiotics, even if it has entered the bloodstream, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Individuals who want to reduce their risk of contracting this disease and other STDs can use a condom during intercourse. STD screenings during doctor visits can also help detect any infections and treat them effectively.