Dating apps and STDs

Claim made by: Peter Greenhouse, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV
Location: Daily Telegraph, page 5
Spotted on: 2015-01-05

That rises in incidences of sexually-transmitted diseases, including gonorrhoea and chlamydia, can be blamed on dating apps. "Thanks to Grindr or Tinder, you can acquire chlamydia in five minutes."

Update 2015-01-07

Peter Greenhouse from BASHH replied with scientific evidence to support the claims he had made to the Daily Mail. He cited a study ( on the use of geosocial networking apps such as Grindr. The study, which had 7184 participants, found that users of these apps were more likely to test positive for chlamydia and gonorrhoea than people who met partners through in-person methods. His "five minutes" claim was a "soundbite", not a scientific statement.

Here's an extract from his reply:

"Part of the problem in these situations is that – despite many individuals’ adherence to principles of safer peno-rectal or peno-vaginal sex – almost nobody (apart from female commercial sex workers) uses condoms for oral sex: So while there is minuscule risk of HIV acquisition there is absolutely NO restriction on the transmission of syphilis, gonorrhoea &/or chlamydia. I did, of course, make these points at length to the journalists at the New Scientist & more recently, the Mail, but – as so often happens in the popular press – the simple soundbite makes the page and is widely propagated at the expense of serious discussion of the underlying issues."


Good evidence

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