Thanks to online dating and apps like Tinder, Canadians are hooking up more than ever.
The only problem is, most don’t seem to be using protection. Or at least, that’s the word from a recent study by Quebec’s Institute of Public Health, which found infection rates of STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are all on the rise–big time. In fact, Dr. Rejean Thomas, who works at L’Actuel medical clinic in Montreal, said patients are now coming in with a syphilis infection every day.
“We have a syphilis case every day here, at Actuel, and before we had three syphilis [cases] in all Quebec,” he said.
Even though the disease was almost wiped out in the province before, it’s been making a remarkable comeback in recent years. Chlamydia rates are also on the rise, having tripled when compared to rates 15 years ago. Gonorrhea, meanwhile, has spiked 54 per cent between 2010 and 2014.
It’s not just Quebec, either. Late last month, Alberta Health Services also raised a red flag over rising levels of STDs.
The cause, according to officials in both provinces, is social media. Online dating and apps like Tinder or Grindr are all part of what is fueling a widespread “hookup culture”, experts say. Especially since the technology makes finding sexual partners easier than ever before.
“We’re doing a lot of screening, we’re doing a lot of treatment we’re doing more than we ever did in the past, and still those numbers are going up,” said Dr. Marc Steben, who worked on the report.
Doctors are hoping to see more schools in Quebec teaching sexual education as a preventative measure. Unless these efforts are ramped up across the country, they say not to expect things to change anytime soon.
For more information on the rise of STDs in Canada, check out the video above.