Health/Fitness :: HIV/AIDS

Grindr Users 40 Percent More Likely to Get Gonorrhea

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Jun 17, 2014
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Men who use hook-up apps are more likely to get STDs
Men who use hook-up apps are more likely to get STDs  (Source:grindr.com)

From the desk of "no shit, Sherlock" comes a new study that has found a significant correlation between smartphone hook-up apps like Grindr and higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Bustle reports that the Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles has found that men who have sex with men (MSM) who use these apps are much more likely to contract certain STDs than gay and bisexual men who meet their sexual partners at a bar or club.

The study, published in the June 12 issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections, looked at about 7,200 California MSM, all who said they were HIV-negative, and tested for STDs between August 2011 and January 2013.

About 34 percent of these L.A. locals said they used apps to find their partners, about 34 percent met men in person, and about 30 percent used a combination of in-person and online sites.

The study revealed that men who used apps like Grindr to get sex were 40 percent more likely to have gonorrhea, compared with men who used a dating website. When compared with those who met their partners in person, the Grindr set was 35 percent more likely to get chlamydia and 23 percent more likely to have gonorrhea.

The study concluded that, "The present study concludes that sexual health clinic MSM attendees who are meeting on GSN apps are at greater risk for gonorrhea and chlamydia than MSM attendees who meet in-person or on the internet. Future interventions should explore the use of these novel technologies for testing promotion, prevention and education."

Researchers determined that technological advances that improve the efficiency of meeting anonymous sexual partners may have the unintended effect of creating networks of individuals where users may be more likely to have sexually transmissible infections than other, relatively less efficient social networking methods.

The findings also jibe with the results of similar studies, such as the study published last year by New York’s Community Healthcare Network that revealed that 50 percent of MSM using hook-up apps were having unprotected sex at least once, because "with condoms it does not feel the same."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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