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Are Dating Apps to Blame for an Increase in STDs?

Smart phone use is so ingrained in our modern lives that it only seems inevitable that we would use them to aid in romantic ventures.

But sexual health experts worldwide worry that the rise in popularity of dating apps like Grindr and Tinder are coupled with a rise in STDs, too.

While there are some mobile applications that aim to stop the spread of STDs, others seem to encourage causal sex encounters that are known to up the risk.

Could smart phone apps have something to do with increasing STD rates? Let’s look over the evidence.

Are STD Rates Rising Due to Dating Apps?

Studies Have Found Correlation Between STDs & Dating Apps

One 2014 study found that gay and bisexual mean who met dates and sexual partners through smart phone apps Grindr and Scruff were 25% more likely to get infected with gonorrhea and 37% more likely to get chlamydia. Since gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are already more at-risk for STDs than other populations, the use of these apps is troublesome.

Encouraging Riskier Behaviors Woman at Bar

Sexual health experts agree that the problem with apps like Tinder and Grindr is that they make it easier and more socially acceptable to engage in risky behaviors such as casual, unprotected sex with near-strangers. Users are able to quickly identify willing sexual partners in close proximity, and considerations like “Has this person had STD testing recently? Are they clean?” are thrown out the window. It may not seem so risky to swipe left or right, but when it comes down to it, digital courtship can lead smart phone users to make hasty decisions that compromise their sexual health.

Stay Smart: If You Use These Apps, Get STD Testing

Although it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many people have gotten STDs thanks to their smart phone, it’s clear that a date or a quick casual sex partner aren’t the only things apps like Tinder can land you — you may also end up with an STD whose effects outlive your sexual encounter.

If you do still choose to use these apps, we encourage you to stay safe with regular STD testing, and to ask your sexual partner(s) to get tested, too. You can visit your nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS for accurate, confidential, judgment-free STD testing, no appointment or doctor’s orders needed!

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