U.S. health officials blame recent STD ‘epidemic’ on hookup apps

Nadine Kalinauskas
Daily Buzz
Flickr / Thomas Hawk A recent study found that a remarkable 30% of users on the dating app Tinder aren’t actually single.  But how many of those people are still on Tinder by accident? See, contrary to the assumption of many (including a Business Insider coworker or two), deleting the Tinder app off your phone doesn’t mean you have deleted your account. Here’s how you really delete all the online dating accounts you’re sick of: Vimeo/Tinder Tinder To repeat: Deleting the app does not delete your account. To delete your account for real, navigate to the Settings pane, select App Settings, scroll down and select Delete Account. You’ll then see a message that says “Account successfully deleted” if it worked. “If you subscribed to Tinder Plus, deleting the app and/or your account does not cancel your subscription,” Tinder says on its FAQ page. You have to cancel your subscription via email. OkCupid OkCupid gives you the option of deleting or disabling your account. If you disable it, your profile will be removed, but you will be able to get all your old information, pictures, and messages back if you want in the future. To permanently delete it, just go to Settings in either the app or desktop, and select “Delete Account.” Here’s a quick link to do just that. Hinge Hinge It turns out you can’t delete your Hinge profile from your smartphone, you’ve got to do it via a desktop computer. Simply click here from a computer (will not work from mobile device) and remove the app from the list. Then, on your phone, delete the app icon as you normally would. Match.com  If you don’t have a paid subscription, you can cancel your membership by visiting the Change/Cancel Membership page in your Account Settings (look for the gear icon). Canceling your membership will hide your profile and photos, but you’ll still be able to reactivate your account if you sign in. Rather confusingly, Match has a separate section describing how to delete a profile permanently, but the answer is just not to even log back in once you’ve cancelled: Match.com Shutterstock Coffee Meets Bagel  There’s no simple, do-it-yourself way to delete your Coffee Meets Bagel profile. You have to actually contact the company and have them do it for you. Reach out at contact@cofeemeetsbagel.com. eHarmony  There are two steps to deleting your eHarmony account. First, you have to “close” it, meaning matches can no longer see your profile. Do that by going to Settings > Account Settings > Billing > Close Account.  Then, to get rid of it completely and permanently, you have to email deletemyinfo@eharmony.com with the subject line “Delete My Account Information.” In the body of the email, ask for all your personal information to be deleted. Grindr To delete your Grindr profile, open the app, tap Grindr Mask > Settings > Privacy > Tap delete profile >Confirm. NOW WATCH: Here’s how much you have to buy to make Amazon Prime worth it Please enable Javascript to watch this video Read more stories on Business Insider, Malaysian edition of the world’s fastest-growing business and technology news website.

Use a hookup app lately? Be careful, health experts warn: STDs are on the rise. 

A recent and notable surge in STD cases in New Jersey is being blamed, in part, on hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr.

Health officials found that the number of syphilis cases rose a whopping 79 per cent from 2013 to 2014. Gonorrhoea cases went up 30 per cent and new cases of HIV rose by 33 per cent.

They even used the word “epidemic” to describe the steep increase.

“These data send a clear signal that despite the progress we have made in reducing STDs and HIV over the years, there is more work to do,” Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the state’s health department, said in a statement.

“We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have great partnerships among state agencies, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers to continue to educate, test, and treat for sexually transmitted diseases. This trend reminds us that we cannot become complacent.”

The majority of these cases are affecting young adults.

While some of the rising numbers can be linked to better testing, officials also believe that social media dating apps are encouraging certain “high-risk behaviours” and advise sexually active people to be careful when pursuing casual and anonymous sex.

“High-risk behaviours 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,” a press release said.

According to the release, the increase in STD cases “follows a national trend.”

Earlier this month, the Utah State Department reported similar findings, with gonorrhoea rates jumping almost 400 per cent from 2011 to 2014 in the state. 

Lynn Beltran, an epidemiologist at the Salt Lake County STD clinic, told KUTV that the proper use of protection is the best strategy for lowering STD rates.

“The biggest thing we are not doing is promoting personal responsibility around our sexual well being,” she said. “People are not educated and think things like, ‘STDs are only in that population I don’t associate with.’ That’s not true. Nobody is exempt from being exposed to an STD when you are sexually active.“

New Jersey’s health department outlined some basic safe-sex guidelines to help lower these STD rates: use condoms or a dental dam every time you have sex, get tested for STDs regularly, know your partner(s)’ sexual health status, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about treatment and sex should you be diagnosed with an STD, and avoid close physical contact if you or a sexual partner exhibits STD symptoms.