Given these caveats, it's a non sequitur in this report, serving only to drive home the idea that dating apps are dangerous.It's intuitive that dating apps could be dangerous, for exactly the reasons mentioned above.Suggesting that apps are "a major factor in a new HIV epidemic" or "a key reason for an increase in HIV infections," or that they "helped foster a teen HIV epidemic," is hugely premature.The Guardian goes on to cite a study finding that gay and bisexual men who use dating apps are at "greater risk of contracting gonorrhea and chlamydia than those who meet in-person or on the internet." This is true, but it was observed in Los Angeles, under a completely different social and legal system."People who used apps were more likely to report multiple recent sex partners, but there wasn't any difference in condom use between app users and non-app users." They were also more likely to report recent HIV testing.
It invokes the authority of the UN to trade on salacious fascination with "hookup apps" and adolescent sex, turning an open question into confirmation that teenagers' phones are literally killing them.
"But then on the other hand, you could also make a very compelling argument — 'Well, wait a second. [...] There's no sense of gay community, and now all of a sudden with a mobile app gay men are allowed to reach into and create an online gay community that gives them support, that helps them get tested, that gives them a sense of empowerment.' You could really see these gay apps going either way.
And that's why we're really interested in this as a research question that hasn't been definitively answered." That's an option that the UN and UNICEF are encouraging.
"It is difficult to generalize our results to other countries," Los Angeles LGBT Center epidemiologist and lead author Matthew Beymer told The Verge.
He also noted that the study found no relationship between HIV risk and app use.