Is it Wrong to Blame Dating Apps Like Tinder for a Rise in STIs?

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Dating apps, such as Tinder and Happn, are behind a recent rise in STIs, according the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). Stop your sniggering. Figures suggest that syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes and genital warts are becoming more widespread across the UK, and officials are holding dating apps responsible.

"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," Dr Peter Greenhouse, the chairman of BASHH’s media committee, told Newsbeat. "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."

Yes, they "might just", but this explanation is surely a bit of a cop-out. It’s easy to blame dating apps for many things, including the eventual collapse of society, but are they really at fault because people are choosing not to slap on a condom or get tested? Tinder last year created its own safe sex ad campaign, though it didn't go down particularly well, as the company managed to simultaneously slut-shame women. The Hift app, however, caters specifically to people with STIs, while gay dating app Hornet regularly tells its users to get checked out and update their HIV status.

Surely the buck should stop with individuals, rather than companies? Or do apps need to do a lot more? After all, Tinder's refusal to admit it's used for casual sex can't exactly be helpful. Have your say in the comments section below.

Image credit: Young Couple via Shutterstock