Mobile Dating Apps And The STD Risk

Are you a user of Tinder or some similar mobile dating app? These apps are growing in popularity, but according to recent research, that popularity may be accompanied by an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. So before you swipe right on that handsome hunk on your smartphone, you might want to consider the possible consequences.

Mobile Dating Apps

Online dating sites have been around for a couple of decades, helping people find their love match and perhaps life partner. That idea has evolved into the mobile dating app, which streamlines the entire process. The app lets people view pictures and short bios of singles in your area. If you like what you see, you swipe right. If your person of interest is also interested in you, he or she will also swipe right and it's a match. You both determine your next steps.

The Swipe Right Pitfalls

Although these mobile dating apps provide a quick and easy way to meet like-minded people for friendship and dating, they are also being used for spontaneous, casual sexual encounters—the mobile app version of the one-night-stand, which has never been a good idea with regards to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

According to a report by the Rhode Island Department of Health, during the period between 2013 and 2014, rates of syphilis cases increased by 79%, gonorrhea cases by 30%, and new HIV cases by about 33%. The report cites the use of social media to "arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters" as one factor in the increase.

The Dangers of STDs

Before you engage in high-risk behaviors such as casual sex, you need to learn about the risks. Many young women have the "it won't happen to me" attitude or "I'll go to the doctor and get rid of it." Yes, you should go to a doctor if you engage in casual sex, but a pill or shot may not take care of any STDs you have or their complications. For example,

  • Did you know, if left untreated, STDs can cause infertility, cardiovascular problems, blindness, deafness, brain infections, dementia—even death?
  • Did you know many STDs show few symptoms until the disease has progressed to a point of serious complications?
  • Did you know condoms may help but are not able to fully prevent STDs?

Be aware of the dangers of casual sex. Be aware of your situation, and if you are unsure of that hunk on your smartphone and hesitant to take a chance, you can always swipe left. For more information, talk to your gynecologist.