Ventura County HIV Increase Causes Concern About Hookup Apps

Grindr

Heath officials and advocates have said that the increase in Ventura County HIV diagnoses are partly attributable to Grindr and other dating apps men use to hook up with other men.

Public health officials said that new data has shown that 70 new local cases of HIV were diagnosed in 2017.

There were 35 new HIV infections diagnosed in 2016, and the year before that there were 32.

Lynn Bartosh, AIDS surveillance coordinator for the Ventura County Public Health Department said: “The number of new cases has heightened. Most of them talk about Grindr.”

She added: “When you can go and (see that) someone’s 0.5 miles away and available, that’s a hookup.”  

Sal Fuentes, coalition chairman and HIV/AIDS prevention advocate, also said: “There are other dating apps, too. Use of the apps for meetings that turn into unprotected sex is not the only reason for the HIV surge but is part of it. 

“Those numbers have skyrocketed as a direct result of the access of the hookup. The emphasis is that we want people to come in and get tested.”

Neil Coffman-Grey, a longtime HIV activist from Santa Barbara has already posted news of the HIV surge and various cautions about the new for protected sex on the site, Craigslist.

He said: “When guys are getting ready to hook up, what do we do to say, ’OK fine, but you need to have protection because there’s something in the water right now, there’s something going around right now and it’s HIV.”

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