Dating Apps Leading To Rise In Hookup Culture and STDs

Dating Apps Leading To Rise In Hookup Culture and STDs

It’s much eas­i­er to date today, thanks to the hookup cul­ture” that’s tak­en hold. The Tin­der and Grindr dat­ing apps have made it eas­i­er than ever to find Mr. or Ms. Right Now. How­ev­er, this also has led to an increase in the num­ber of STD infec­tions, with rates ris­ing all over the state of California.

Many health experts believe there is a con­nec­tion between the two.

Experts say the rates of chlamy­dia, syphilis and gon­or­rhea have grown sig­nif­i­cant­ly in Cal­i­for­nia. In 2017, the dis­eases hit their high­est rates in 30 years.

For instance, over 218,000 chlamy­dia cas­es had been report­ed in 2017 – the high­est rate since 1990. Gon­or­rhea cas­es hit 75,000+ in 2017 – the high­est rate since the late 1980s. In 2017, rough­ly 14,000 syphilis cas­es were report­ed – the high­est rate since 1987.

A num­ber of experts have not­ed the increase in STD is due to the rise in the num­ber of dat­ing apps.

Alame­da Coun­ty Health Depart­ment HIV STD Sec­tion Direc­tor Nicholas Moss said cell phones and the Inter­net have changed people’s lives includ­ing their sex lives. Dat­ing apps have made it eas­i­er for peo­ple to meet anony­mous sex part­ners. Num­bers are not shared between the two users.

Grindr has rough­ly 27 mil­lion mem­bers; three mil­lion of them are active­ly using the site. Tin­der has 46 mil­lion mem­bers with four mil­lion of them being paid subscribers.

Emi­ly Fregoso is a col­lege stu­dent at UC Berke­ley who said the hookup cul­ture is a real thing. She said she’s known peo­ple who have used the apps to have a casu­al encounter. After one date, a friend of hers was diag­nosed with gon­or­rhea. Since it was trans­mit­ted to her, she reached out to the man who gave it to her who decid­ed to ignore her.

Moss said dat­ing apps may have led to the increase in STD rates, but they enable them to edu­cate peo­ple on how to make healthy sex­u­al choices.

Build­ing Health Online Com­mu­ni­ties direc­tor Dan Wohlfeil­er said many dat­ing apps are try­ing to change the tech­nol­o­gy so that it can noti­fy peo­ple of pos­si­ble expo­sure. Wohlfeil­er said the tech­nol­o­gy affords a pletho­ra of tools that can be used – that will help peo­ple make bet­ter-informed choices.

Wohlfeil­er is cur­rent­ly cre­at­ing a plat­form that retains users’ anonymi­ty but noti­fies sex­u­al part­ners of the expo­sure to STDs. Accord­ing to both tech­nol­o­gy and med­ical experts, tech­nol­o­gy is the key to a prob­lem it’s con­tributed to.

Med­ical pro­fes­sion­als encour­age peo­ple to get test­ed for STDs every three to six months and to have open com­mu­ni­ca­tions with their sex­u­al partners.


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