Maybe rethink that swipe…
According to a prominent British doctor, dating apps like Tinder, Happn, OK Cupid, and many others are increasing rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — and that could have potentially catastrophic consequences across communities.
Dr. Peter Greenhouse, a member of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, even warns of an “explosion” of HIV among heterosexual people thanks to these apps.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Dr. Greenhouse explains:
“You are able to turn over partners more quickly with a dating app and the quicker you change partners, the more likely you are to get infections. What really worries me is that we are just at a tipping point for HIV. If enough people change partners quickly, and they’ve got other untreated sexually transmitted infections, it might just start an explosion of HIV in the heterosexual population. Apps could do that.”
But is Dr. Greenhouse right? At least in England, a few STDs are on the rise: syphilis cases have increased by a third in 2014, and gonorrhea was reported nearly 20% more that year than the one before.
But Marie Cosnard, of Happn, one of Britain’s most popular dating apps, says it isn’t the technology that’s the problem:
“Dating apps are following wider social trends and changing behaviors that have been unfolding for decades – there’s a liberalization of attitudes towards the number of partners, the status of relationships, towards marriage, divorce … So the rise of any STD is not really connected to dating apps themselves. The problem is much wider. People need to be more educated in terms of sexual health and to take their responsibilities, no matter how and where they’ve met their partner.”
George Kidd, the CEO of the Online Dating Association, agrees with Cosnard:
“It’s a bit much to blame the phone app. People do this – not apps … Our members are dating sites, not sex-encounter businesses but we should be alert to any very particular situations in which health advice is appropriate.”
After all, if dating apps didn’t exist, people would simply find another way to meet and enjoy a little lovin’, right?!
What about U — what do U think about STDs and dating apps??