UK Health Officials Blame Dating Apps for Increase in STDs

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Health officials have warned that sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea are making a comeback in the UK due to dating apps.

Dating apps are speeding up the process of people meeting and then having sex, they argue.

The overall number of sexually transmitted infections has fallen by 0.3% since 2016, but the number of gonorrhea cases has seen a 22% increase to 44,676. This is the highest figure since 1949, Public Health England (PHE) has revealed.

Syphilis has also increased by 20% from 5,955 cases in 2016 to 7,137 in 2017.

Gwenda Hughes, head of the STI department at PHE, said: “Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health. It is likely to be a result of condomless sex. We’ve got these apps and they enable people to find partners much more quickly.”

She added: “Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defense against STIs; and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment.”

Commenting on the figures, Dr Olwen Williams, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV also said: “These dramatic increases in syphilis and gonorrhea are a huge concern and must provide a wake-up call to the government about the importance of ensuring that high-quality, easily accessible sexual health services are available for all those who need them.

“Worryingly, however, we are seeing an increase in the number of clinics that are being closed and patients are finding it increasingly difficult to access care.”

It has also been reported that 72 out of 151 councils in England are planning to cut sexual-health funding in the year 2018-2019.

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