According to the Los Angeles Times, some public health experts claim online dating apps may be the cause of Los Angeles County’s ranking as the nation’s leader in sexually transmitted diseases and one of the leaders in rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Similar claims about the spread of STDs have been made in Great Britain as well.
The claim rests on the belief that the apps lead to more casual sex among people 25 and younger, thus leaving them vulnerable to infection, added to the fact that that age group is less likely to test themselves for STDs, the Times notes
The reticence of young people regarding STD tests was documented by the L.A. County Department of Public Health. In 2009 the county began offering free home tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea women under 25. They have sent roughly 9,000 to date, but the Times notes that only half of the 9,000 tests were returned for testing.
Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis soared in the United States in 2014. The Times reports, “A particularly staggering statistic, the 1.4 million chlamydia cases reported that year, marked the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”