“There’s no doubt meeting new partners is much easier with apps,” Wohlfeiler added.
And that means any diseases those partners might have can spread more easily too.
“Not only are we at an all-time high,” Gail Bolan, the director of the division of STD prevention at the CDC, told me, “but we’re starting to see increases in all kind of communities.” There are a few reasons cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise.
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.
The impact of these sites is so profound they are also transforming the way health officials track and prevent outbreaks.