Rise in sexually transmitted diseases could be linked to hook up apps

Tinder, Pure, Grindr and PinpointsX are just some of the names of so-called “hook up apps.” Increasingly popular, they providing easy access to meet strangers and sometimes engage in risky behavior.

“You're not in a relationship with someone; it doesn't give you an opportunity to really know that person, to know their sexual history to know they have even been tested,” said Dr. Yolanda Wimberly.

Dr. Wimberly is an associate professor of Adolescent Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine. She said the alleged connection between social media and sexually transmitted diseases needs a closer look.

“It may be a minor factor contributing to it that definitely needs to be investigated,” said the specialist.

Dr. Wimberly suggests it is important to not only look at social media, but STD education and access to health services to figure out what's impacting the numbers.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports infectious syphilis cases have been rising since 2010. As of 2013, Georgia has the highest Syphilis Case Rate in the country.

The doctor suggests social media can be used to educate young people about sexual health; For instance, the gPower app.

“It is something that teenagers do like. It's a positive educational app that educates people about STD's contraception, services where they can go and get tested and treated,” says Dr. Wimberly.

The co-creator of Pure provided the FOX Medical Team with this comment: "I can have only one comment - soon government officials will tell us that the best way to prevent STD's is to stop have (sic) sex at all. Probably, it's [a] good choice for those, who [are] stupid enough not to care about his/her health.”

A spokesperson for Grindr released this statement: "Knowledge is power, and it's the first and most important step in stopping the spread of diseases. As a company, we’re committed to promoting safe sex within the community, and we want to be a resource for our users in staying healthy”

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