May 29, 2015
As diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and syphilis, continue to rise among certain groups in the United States, some experts are blaming the use of social media and dating apps, Vice News reports.
Officials at the Rhode Island Department of Health said this week that social media has played a role (to some extent) in the state's increasing rates. The number of infectious syphilis cases in the state increased by 79 percent from 2013 to 2014.
A study released earlier this year by two researchers from New York University discovered a correlation between the introduction of Craigslist and the increase in HIV diagnoses.
"Basically what the Internet does is makes it a lot easier to find a casual partner," Anindya Ghose, co-author of the study, told VICE News.
"Without the Internet you'd have to put effort into casual relationships, chatting with someone at the bar or hanging out in places, but these platforms make it a lot more convenient and easy. That's essentially what the primary driver is."