Does meeting someone on Tinder increase my chances or risk of getting STDs?

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CMCH-auq-squareI’m 19 and going off to college in the fall. A bunch of my friends are on Tinder and I am too. But I have not met with anyone and have only been looking. I’m concerned that my risk of getting an STD will be higher if I use this app. Is this true?

Great question! Tinder is a location-based casual dating app that claims to help users easily “hook up” with people they don’t know. Unlike other dating websites and apps that match people based on compatibility and interests, Tinder simply bases the users attraction to others just on physical appearance. Meeting someone on Tinder doesn’t automatically increase your risk of STDs however, engaging in casual sex with someone you hardly know—whether you meet them through an app, website or in person, can definitely increase your risk of becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

. The following behaviors increase your risk of contracting an STD/STI:

  • Having sexual contact without using a barrier method, such as condoms
  • Having sexual contact with multiple partners
  • Having sexual contact with older partners (who are more likely to have had more sexual encounters)
  • Having sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol or other substances
  • Having sexual contact with someone when you don’t know anything about their sexual history. For example, how many partners they’ve had and if they have practiced safe sex.

If you are looking for a meaningful relationship, try choosing real-life activities that you enjoy. You will likely meet others who have similar interests.

If you have other questions about social media, Ask the Mediatrician.