'Dating apps an STD factory'

03 November 2015 - 02:12 By ©The Daily Telegraph

The use of dating apps has fuelled a rise in sexually transmitted diseases and could cause a potential "explosion" of HIV, a leading sexual health consultant has warned. Peter Greenhouse, of the British Association for Sexual Health, said such apps facilitated casual sexual encounters.He told Radio 1's Newsbeat: "You could even be in a bar, swipe this way or that way and find that there's somebody on the other side of the bar who is up for it."So that must increase the rate at which you change partners or find new partners and that in itself has got to increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections."Latest figures released by Public Health England show a 33% rise in cases of syphilis last year and a 19% increase in gonorrhoea.Although the numbers of heterosexual people diagnosed with HIV has almost halved over the past 10 years, Greenhouse said modern attitudes to casual sex could cause those numbers to soar again.Said Greenhouse: "If enough people change partners quickly, and they have untreated sexually transmitted infections, it might just start an explosion of HIV in the heterosexual population."Marie Cosnard, head of trends at Happn, said apps were simply following existing social trends.She said: "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."

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day, Financial Mail or Rand Daily Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.