Dating apps worry health officials

HOUSTON (KHOU) - This 'Watching Out For You' segment takes a closer look at the connection between smart phone apps and sexually transmitted diseases.

With names like Tinder and Grindr, the apps downloaded to your phone can offer a fast "hook up."

That has health professionals like Larry Prescott worried.

Prescott works in the City of Houston's STD prevention program and says patients have admitted that they contracted a disease after meeting someone through

Prescott explains how GPS on our phones makes the whole process of anonymous sex even easier.

"I can hit my phone and it will tell me about somebody five miles, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes wherever," says Prescott. "Just immediately there's people all hooked up and ready to go."

There's also a study out by the Los Angeles LGBT center that found a 25% greater chance of catching Gonorrhea and a 37% increase of getting Chlamydia in gay and bisexual men who met their partners this high-tech way.

So what do the app companies have to say about all of this?

After numerous attempts, Tinder and its owners haven't responded to our request for comment.

Grindr did send us a statement. In part, the company says it's "highly committed" to promoting safe sex. Grindr also tells us that they send out in-app messages to users regarding safe sex and also to remind users to get tested.

Prescott points to another fact that anyone using these apps should keep in mind.

"A lot of people will infect people by not knowing until something happens," he says.


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