The rising popularity of online dating sites and smartphone apps, especially by gay and bisexual men, increases their risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), a new study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections reveals.
The study was conducted by researchers at L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles who observed over 7,100 participants who were tested for STDs between 2011 and 2013 and asked them about their use of social network tech use for meeting new friends.
The researchers found that around 36 percent of the participants made use of smartphone apps and other resources to meet up with new friends while around 30 percent made use of online and real-life social settings to meet new partners. The researchers revealed that gay and bisexual men who met new partners through smartphone apps were 35 percent were more likely to be diagnosed with Chlamydia and 23 percent more likely to be diagnosed with gonorrhea.
"Technological advances which 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. Technology is redefining sex on demand -- prevention programs must learn how to effectively exploit the same technology", the researchers wrote in their report.