The health department of a US state says hookup apps have helped to increase rates of STDs over the past few years.
The Rhode Island Department of Health recently released data showing that the rates of HIV and several other STDs are rapidly increasing.
From 2013 to 2014, the number of infectious syphilis cases in Rhode Island increased by 79%, and cases of gonorrhoea increased by 30%.
In addition to this, the number of newly-identified HIV cases increased by almost 33%.
And this increase is part of a national trend, according to the Department of Health, pushed by a growth in high-risk behaviours that include “using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters.”
The government body said: “The increase has been attributed to better testing by providers and to high-risk behaviours that have become more common in recent years.
“High-risk behaviours include using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
Nicole Alexander-Scott, the Director Designee at HEALTH said: “These data send a clear signal that despite the progress we have made in reducing STDs and HIV over the years, there is more work to do.
“We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have great partnerships among state agencies, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers to continue to educate, test, and treat for sexually transmitted diseases. This trend reminds us that we cannot become complacent.”
At the start of 2015, experts at Public Health England also warned that hookup apps like Tinder were enabling “hyper-efficient transmission” of infections.
Such services were likewise linked to a 15% increase in gonorrhoea cases in England, and a 9% increase in cases of syphilis.