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In the UK, the National Health Service is pushing major networks like Tinder and Grindr to advertise places that provide free (or affordable) condoms because of the role they’re playing the rise of sexually transmitted diseases among young men who have sex with men.

When it comes to the US, the much bigger sites like Tinder and Grindr — which have some 50 million and 10 million users, respectively — aren’t doing enough, according to health advocates.

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“Because these are closed pools of people in limited geographies [using dating apps], it means that infections can spread more easily,” he said.

“That’s why we call apps a ‘digital bathhouse.’” That’s also why public health officials are so eager to work with apps, to get them to add warnings and sexual health messages where users are convening — on the apps themselves.

They do as little as possible.” (Both Grindr and Tinder declined to comment on this story, and Tinder pointed me to its website’s “dating safely” advice section.) Just as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have disrupted transportation — and required new regulations and cultural adaptations — dating sites have disrupted the way people have sex.

Health advocates say it’s time they acknowledge that impact — and begin to help fight the STDs they may be helping to spread.

His group, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has put up billboards and bus ads showing silhouettes of people kissing with the names of dating apps (Tinder and Grindr) and STDs, in the hopes of sending the message that encounters originating online can lead to infections.

Tinder responded with a cease-and-desist order, but settled with the foundation in January 2016 after agreeing to add a health safety section to its website.These places, after all, had become important meeting points for men who have sex with men — the group most affected by the HIV epidemic.Today, the public health focus has shifted to “digital bathhouses." Wohlfeiler said, “Now that dating sites and apps have become so common, we know we need to work with them." There’s just one problem: Many of the major dating networks don’t want to be involved in STD prevention, nor have they acknowledged the impact they’re having on public health.“They are hesitant to support sexual health,” said Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine and STD researcher at UCLA.“They realize that their sites could be stigmatized for being associated with STDs.“I don’t think they feel it’s their responsibility," Weinstein said.

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