“They are hesitant to support sexual health,” said Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine and STD researcher at UCLA.
“They realize that their sites could be stigmatized for being associated with STDs.
Unfortunately, too many barriers stand in the way of health care and education, especially for young people, communities of color and LGBTQ folks,” Childs-Roshak said.
Preventing STDs in a casual hook-up society Sex is a natural part of relationships, but people need to take precautions to stay healthy, Childs-Roshak said.
In 2015, health officials in Rhode Island released data showing a dramatic spike in cases of syphilis (79 percent), gonorrhea (30 percent), and HIV (33 percent) in the previous year.
The uptick, they said, wasn’t an outlier — it was part of a national trend.
“We used to think about what we can do with bathhouses and sex clubs to make sure people’s risk was reduced,” said Dan Wohlfeiler, director of Building Healthy Online Communities, a public health group that works with apps to support STI prevention.
Requests for comment to Grindr and Tinder were not immediately answered Tuesday.
As scientists are quick to point out, correlation does not equal causation.
The rise of dating apps like Tinder and Grindr is concurrent with increases in reported cases of STDS, Cranston said.
“It’s arguable dating apps are a cause, but whether it leads to more sex, anonymous sex or condom-less sex is hard to answer,” he said.
Gonorrhea cases are up 52 percent in the last decade, with 2,688 cases in 2015.