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Smartphone SEX APPS will give you CUPID'S MEASLES - study

You're better off finding partners in, er, meatspace

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Have you fondled your slab in the hope of finding sex with a handsome stranger? Then you may want to get down the clap clinic pronto, because people who seek sex using smartphone apps are more likely to catch a nasty STD.

That's the key point from a new study of hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr. Bonk-mad boffins in Los Angeles assessed more than 7,000 HIV-negative gay or bisexual men at an STD clinic in the city, asking about their sex lives and what bugs they had picked up during acts of physical love.

Their findings suggest wannabe Lotharios are safer picking up lovers in real life fleshpots like nightclubs or pubs rather than relying on new-fangled sex apps.

Horny handset holders were 23 per cent more likely to be infected with gonorrhoea and 35 per cent more likely to be infected with chlamydia than old-school lovers. However, they had no increased chance of catching HIV or syphilis.

The researchers wrote: "Technological advances which improve the efficiency of meeting anonymous sexual partners may have the unintended effect of creating networks of individuals where users may be more likely to have sexually transmissible infections than other, relatively less efficient social networking methods.

"Technology is redefining sex on demand. Prevention programmes must learn how to effectively exploit the same technology, and keep pace with changing contemporary risk factors for sexually transmitted infections and HIV transmission."

All in all, some 34 per cent of the surveyed people used the real world to find sex, while 36 per cent used only smartphone apps and 30 per cent used a combination of both new and old techniques.

Smartphone shaggers are generally well educated, under 40 and from white or Asian ethnic backgrounds. App users were also more likely to use recreational drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy.

The study (PDF) is called Sex on demand: geosocial networking phone apps and risk of sexually transmitted infections among a cross sectional sample of men who have sex with men in Los Angeles county. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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