Apps like Tinder and Grindr might be easy ways to avoid going home alone, but they could be affecting your life more than you think.
A press release from Rhode Island's Department of Health documented a rise of STD cases in the state. The department claims this alleged increase is due to risky sexual practices like arranging hookups through social media.
Between 2013 and 2014, Rhode Island reportedly saw a 33 percent increase in new HIV cases as well as a 30 percent boost in gonorrhea diagnoses. The number of syphilis cases in the state rose by 79 percent.
According to the press release, the experts believe the jump in STD cases is directly traceable back to casual sexual encounters.
The statement reads,
High-risk behaviors include using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Rhode Island's statistics don't reflect a national increase in syphilis among the entire country.
In 2013, however, the CDC reported a 10 percent surge in primary and secondary cases since 2012. The same year, an NYU study linked Craigslist personal ads to a nearly 16 percent jump in HIV cases over a nine-year period.
The data also connects back to a 2014 study of almost 7,200 gay and "bi-curious" men.
Researchers reportedly found men using gay dating apps, like Grindr, for sexual purposes were 23 percent more likely than their fellow participants to have gonorrhea and 35 percent more likely to have chlamydia.
In short: If you're looking to get lucky on an app, brush up on your safe-sex skills beforehand.