Tinder, the illustrious scapegoat of Internet dating, is now allegedly to blame for the uptick in STD cases in the states of Rhode Island and Utah, where apparently unprotected sex has been en vogue, say state officials.
The Rhode Island department of health attributed the rise to “high-risk behaviors that have become more common in recent years”, which it said included “using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters”.
The news comes as another blow to users of apps like Grindr, Tinder, Blender, Happn, Scruff, Down, Pure, Glimpse, JSwipe, Hinge and more.
In May, Utah pointed to hookup apps as one reason for a huge increase in STD rates between 2011 and 2014. Gonorrhea was the most common venereal disease in the Beehive state, with infections increasing 700% over a three-year period.
To be clear: the Beyhive state is presumably just fine.
“The recent uptick in STDs in Rhode Island follows a national trend,” the state health department said. “The increase has been attributed to better testing by providers and to high-risk behaviours that have become more common in recent years.
“High-risk behaviours include using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
While Tinder’s instant gratification modus operandi might have inspired people to take matters into their own hands—literally and figuratively—in a more aggressive and immediate manner, a little additional communication (as is always the case with sex) should go a long way.
“We need to be able to have open conversations about this,” [Lynn Beltran, epidemiologist at the Salt Lake County STD clinic] said. “Parents, especially with your teens, young adults, you need to talk openly about this because I don’t think attitudes are going to be switching back any time soon.
“We need to talk more about condom use. We need to fight to keep up with what social media has done to sexual activity in our communities.”
Image via AP