NUMBERS GAME

This Study May Make You Think Twice Before Habitually Opening Up These Hookup Apps

bear-gay-apps-smartphones-scruff-grindr-growlrExtra! Extra!

This may come as a shock, but results of a research study conducted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center indicate that gay/bisexual men who use smartphone dating applications, such as Grindr, Scruff, and Recon, to seek sexual partners have a higher risk of contracting common sexually transmitted infections.

And just to gauge how many people we’re talking about here, Grindr alone reportedly has a user base of six million spread over 192 countries.

Thats a lot of chlamydia.

For the study, 7,184 men were tested for STI and provided information about their recreational drug use and social networking methods to find potential sexual partners. One-third (34 percent) of the respondents met sexual partners in person only; a slightly smaller proportion (30 percent) used a combination of person-to-person or online dating; and a slightly larger proportion (36 percent) used smartphone apps and/or a combination of previously mentioned methods.

According to the authors, smartphone apps were favored by younger, well-educated men under the age of 40 and by men of white or Asian ethnic backgrounds.

App users were also more likely to use recreational drugs, including cocaine and Ecstasy. There is most definitely not an app for that.

And here’s the kicker:

Guys who use apps to hook up were 25 percent more likely to be infected with gonorrhea and 37 percent more likely to be infected with chlamydia. However, there was no difference in their likelihood of infection with either HIV or syphilis.

“Technology is redefining sex on demand; prevention programs must learn how to effectively exploit the same technology, and keep pace with changing contemporary risk factors for STI and HIV transmission,” researchers write.

As someone who’s recently heard a healthcare provider at a gay clinic reductively refer to gonorrhea as “oh it’s just like getting a cold these days,” this does raise some interesting questions about the cavalier attitudes towards treatable STI in the gay community.

Especially as terms like “antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea” enter out lexicon.

Might make you think twice before you load more guys.