It turns out Tinder might be more hazardous for your health than you thought.
Besides the constant stress caused by those worries about what to say in first messages to your matches, experts are now claiming that rates of sexually transmitted diseases have risen as a result of the popularity of online dating apps.
According to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), Public Health England records show that STIs spread rapidly last year, with a 33 per cent increase in syphilis and a 19 per cent increase in gonorrhoea.
Now, a leading medical expert has warned that an “explosion” (not a great word in this context) of HIV could be next.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Dr Peter Greenhouse, one of the UK’s leading sexual health doctors, said:
You are able to turn over partners more quickly with a dating app and the quicker you change partners the more likely you are to get infections.
What really worries me is that 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.
An estimated 25 to 40 per cent of all new relationships now begin on dating apps, and campaigners and healthcare professionals want companies like Tinder to help raise more awareness around sexual health.
However, given that online dating is simply a sign of the changing times and a modern approach to meeting new people, some argue it seems harsh to blame the rise in issues below the belt solely on dating apps.
Marie Cosnard, head of trends for Happn, added:
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.
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.