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He and others would like to see online networks engaged in data collection on STDs, partner notification, condom promotion, and distributing information about self-testing and STDs.
making that hip and cool is something the apps could help with a great deal,” said Weinstein.
His group, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has put up billboards and bus ads showing silhouettes of people kissing with the names of dating apps (Tinder and Grindr) and STDs, in the hopes of sending the message that encounters originating online can lead to infections.
The impact of these sites is so profound they are also transforming the way health officials track and prevent outbreaks.
“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.
But with more anonymous sexual encounters, epidemiologists may not be able to track down people’s partners and notify them that they might have an STD, Auerbach said.
And that means any diseases those partners might have can spread more easily too.
For instance, epidemiologists have documented a rise in sex without condoms among men who have sex with men.
But health experts increasingly view apps and sites such as Tinder, Grindr, and Ok Cupid as enablers of high-risk sex, helping people meet and hook up more efficiently than ever before.
In one study looking at the link between Craigslist personal ads and HIV, researchers at the University of Minnesota identified an increase in HIV cases in 33 states between 19 — and determined that the advent of Craigslist alone contributed to a 16 percent increase in cases.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating