The United States has an increasing problem with sexually transmitted diseases. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed a record high 2.3 million diagnosed cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2017.
The CDC report found that their 2017 numbers of cases exceeded the number of cases diagnosed in 2016 by more than 200,000. Moreover, for the last four years, the number of total STDs has increased; cases of syphilis have nearly doubled; chlamydia diagnoses have hit record highs, and gonorrhea cases have increased by a whopping 67%.
The rise of popular dating/hook-up apps are contributing to the troubling rise in sexually transmitted diseases, warn health experts.
Apps like Tinder, Grinder, and Bumble make it easy, with literally just a few touches on an iPhone, for people to meet up and hook up for high-risk sex.
Jana J. Pruet of The Blaze reports:
Building Healthy Online Communities, a public health group that works with apps to support STD prevention, believes dating apps have become “digital bathhouses” and could be increasing the rate of disease.
“We used to think about what we can do with bathhouses and sex clubs to make sure people’s risk was reduced,” BHOC director Dan Wohlfeiler said in a Vox report last fall.
But many of popular dating apps have been hesitant to support sexual health, according to Jeffrey Klausner, a University of California, Los Angeles STD researcher.
“They realize that their sites could be stigmatized for being associated with STDs. They do as little as possible,” Klausner told Vox.
Other experts have identified an increase in the amount of sex without condoms and advanced medical diagnostics as contributing factors to the rise in reported STDs.
Of course, a hook-up culture which devalues sex to a mere act of pleasure ostensibly devoid of emotion or consequences is the real issue at hand, not the apps on our phones which only allow us to more easily engage in said culture.