Dating apps 'causing rise in STIs'
The rise in popularity of dating apps, such as Tinder, could lead to an explosion in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) being contracted, according to a leading doctor.
Dr Peter Greenhouse, from the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), has said that the apps, which are often used to find partners for casual sex, could see an increase in the number of HIV cases among the heterosexual population.
When speaking to BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat, Dr Greenhouse said that the apps allow people to have sex with different partners regularly, which increases their risk at catching an STI.
He continued to say that this worries him as "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."
This could mean that these apps need to invest in more advertising that showcases the benefits of safe sex, especially between casual partners.
Dr Greenhouse's concerns follow on from the latest Public Health England figures, which show a marked increase in the number of reported STI cases. According to the figures, there has been a 19 per cent rise in gonorrhoea cases and a 33 per cent increase in the number of people diagnosed with syphilis since 2014.
The Online Dating Association, which represents all dating apps and online dating sites in the UK, disagreed with Dr Greenhouse's assessment that apps are to blame for the rise in STIs.
Marie Cosnard, from Happn - which is a popular dating app in the UK - said that the blame should not be put on these apps.
"Dating apps are following wider social trends and changing behaviours that have been unfolding for decades - there's a liberalisation of attitudes towards the number of partners, the status of relationships, towards marriage, divorce, etc," she continued.
"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."
Whatever the reason for the rise in STIs, people should ensure they are engaging in safe sex and are undergoing regular tests to ensure they are clear of infections. It is also advised to seek medical advice if you suspect that you may have an STI.