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Where Do Dating Apps and ‘Hook Up’ Apps Fall into STD Law?

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Man and woman write messages about love or date. Online dating concept. The characters on the phone screen fell in love. Flat cartoon vector illustration.

The increased rate of STD transmission in New York has left several dating apps catching the heat, with Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr being the top names.

Finding a date is faster than getting pizza delivered to your home, says Dan Wohlfeiler, a co-founder of Building Healthy Online Communities and STD prevention specialist.

Dating apps aren’t new, as many looking for a hookup or casual love find these sites their perfect destination. Moreover, finding a partner on these apps can be easier than meeting someone at a bar or club if you know what to look for.

However, as per the Aids Healthcare Foundation, the rise in STDs like chlamydia has made these dating apps a point of concern for users.

Whether you are a new user on these lucrative platforms or have got an STD from someone you met on these dating sites, this article is for you. The post will tell you everything about the STD laws and dating sites.

We’ll also enlighten you about the possibility of suing someone for transmitting the STD without your knowledge.

What Is Dating and “Hook Up” Apps? Are They Affecting Your Sexual Health?

Dating apps are online platforms where you can virtually meet millions of people and talk to the ones interested in you. These apps not only make it easier for you to find a date but also make it simpler to connect on various levels.

Most of the dating apps are free, and that’s why there’s a boom in the audience using them, which has led to an increase in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in New York.

You’ll find many online dating apps out there, some suitable for casual, anonymous sex, while some are focused on casual friendship. There are apps specifically for the LGBTQ+ community as well.

Some top-rated dating apps are catching the limelight due to the potential STD epidemic in 2022.


Almost everyone has heard of the app Tinder. It might be a surprise, but there have been more than 30 billion matches on Tinder to data, making it a popular platform for folks looking for hookups.

As per Vox, Tinder has almost 50 million active users in the United States and could be one of the significant contributors to the spread of STDs.


Grindr has a user base of around 10 million, another popular dating app after Tinder. Since its launch, Grinder has become one of the largest social networking apps for bi, gay, trans, and queer people.

This dating app is the first geosocial app for gay men and is popular among those of the same sex. Unlike Tinder and regular dating sites, which show only one person at a time, Grindr you a grid of active users, increasing the chances of finding a suitable match.


Bumble boasts female empowerment and lets women take the lead. The app encourages the female user to start the conversation, while the male user can only await a match and respond to the interested match.

Bumble also has a broad user base with millions of active users. The matches work on a 24-hour cycle; a person gets just one day to respond to a conversation.


Hinge has some impressive statistics sharing that most of its connections lead to a second date most of the time. The app is pretty popular among millennials looking for casual sex and hookups.

The app even lets its users find people based on specific interests such as height, religion, and more; thus, the chances of finding someone is high.

Besides these dating apps, some other popular names include eHarmony, Happn, EliteSingles, and more, which are immensely popular among New York residents and may contribute to the increasing number of STD cases.

Why Do People Use These Apps?

As per new data from YouGov, one in 11 Americans (9%) said that they are currently using a popular dating app, and 28% said that they had used these apps in the past.

The user base of these dating apps is increasing rapidly, especially among young people, and finding an exclusive partner is a significant reason. Another reason why people use these apps is to experience something fun or exciting to do.

Casual sex and hook-ups are also why the residents of New York and the United States install dating apps on their devices. (source of data)

Are these Dating Apps to be Blamed for the Spread of STDs? Here are some Stats

New York City ranks among the top ten cities with the highest sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) incidence. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, the number of cases of syphilis increased up 45% from 2016, and the cases of chlamydia went up by 52%. In the same way, congenital syphilis cases associated with stillbirths and deaths among babies born to mothers who have syphilis have skyrocketed 235% since 2016.

The cases of syphilis and gonorrhea are rising dramatically, with almost two-thirds of all reported chlamydia infections being found in 15–24 years; considered Generation Z, a generation that grew up digitally. Digital technology plays a significant role in their lives, including their sexual relationships.

Another report stated that 76% of the group of Tinder users reported contracting an STI or STD. STD cases for young adults are growing faster than the rest of the population.

Are the Dating Apps Doing More Harm than Good?

A meeting on one of these apps does not automatically increase your risk of contracting an STD, but having casual sex with someone you barely know – whether you meet via a dating app or not – increases your risk of catching an infection.

It is essential to understand the risks involved when joining a dating site or other sexual networks if you want to avoid getting infected with a sexually transmitted disease. However, it entirely depends on an individual if they wish to trust someone they meet online and have sexual relations with them.

“Public health workers traditionally could trace sexually transmitted diseases within a local community and stop outbreaks before they exploded; dating apps break down those social and geographic barriers, making STIs harder to track,” said Adriane Casalotti of the National Association of County and City Health.

Online dating has changed the way people have sex. A rise in internet dating has been linked to STD outbreaks in states across the country. Public health officials and Health advocates say it’s time they acknowledge the impact and start doing more to fight the STDs they might be helping to spread.

Yes, it’s true that with the boom in the online dating industry, there’s an explosion of STD cases in New York and other states of the U.S. 

What are the Laws Around STDs and Dating Apps?

Can you sue someone you met online for transmitting an STD to you? What does the law say regarding dating apps and the transmission of STDs? Is it illegal not to disclose to a sexual partner if you have an active STD?

As per the law in New York, it is a misdemeanor for a person not to tell their partner that they have an STD before having intercourse or other sexual activities with them. People who know they have an STD, which can be transmitted to someone or cause death, and still indulge in sexual contact with their partner without disclosing it may be guilty of reckless endangerment.

In a nutshell, it is illegal for a person with an STD to make sexual contact with another person without telling them about their STD, HIV status, or sexual health. Doing so can attract several penalties, such as hefty fines, and the guilty person can also serve in prison, depending on the severity of the case.

Have You Gotten an STD from Someone You Met on a Dating Site?

If you answered yes, you could act against that person, provided they are guilty of it. New York law does not list STDs or STIs but instead refers to them as venereal diseases.

The most commonly accepted STDs by the law include HIV, AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and more. Here are some situations that give you the legal right to sue a person for transmitting these diseases to you.

Reckless Endangerment

If individuals who know they have an active STD that can spread and/or cause death has sex with someone without telling the partner of their infections, they may be guilty of reckless endangerment.

Did your partner tell you they had it? If not, then you could be entitled to sue them for transmitting the infection.

Sexual Battery

Not everyone on these dating apps ends with pleasant sexual intercourse; some people even fall prey to sexual battery. For example, if the person you meet online has an STD and they fail to tell you about it, your consent for that sexual encounter may be effectively wiped out.

Unlike reckless endangerment, sexual battery is more of intentional transmission of these life-threatening diseases even after knowing they can cost someone their life.

Whether your sexual partner failed to inform you about their infection or wilfully engaged in intercourse with you, they can be sued as per the New York Law. 

How to Sue Someone for Giving You an STD?

Do you think you got an STD from a person you met on a dating app? Do you want to sue them for this crime? Well, the New York law lets you sue someone for transmitting an STD, and there are several types of STDs you can sue a person for.

Here’s what you need to do to file a lawsuit against them.

Gather the Evidence 

The first step towards filing and winning a lawsuit is collecting the evidence you can show to prove your side. You can gather the chats and other modes of conversations that happened between you and your partner.

Since you met them on a dating app, you can also take screenshots of your profile match and the messages you exchanged before and after the meeting, which prove that you got into sexual intercourse with the other person.

Contact a Lawyer

Next, you should find the best STD lawyer in New York with experience handling such cases. The attorneys will also help you understand whether you have a solid ground to sue the offender and if you need more evidence to prove your claim.

Attorneys also know everything about the law around the transmission of STDs in New York, which can benefit you in strengthening the case.

File a Lawsuit

After discussing the important things with your lawyers, you can decide the type of STD lawsuit that you want to file against your sexual partners. As per the law in New York, there are two types of STD lawsuits. File a lawsuit against your partner, and your legal team will take care of the rest.

What to Look for in an STD Lawyer in New York

To make your case strong and show everything the way it happened, you need one of the best STD lawyers. Here are a few things you should look for in a lawyer before appointing them for your case.

They Should Be Based Out in New York 

The STD laws can vary depending on the state; therefore, appoint lawyers from New York only. In addition, look for lawyers in NY with offices in different states if you want to sue someone outside New York.

They Should Be Experienced 

STD cases, especially those related to dating apps, can be complex because it requires establishing contact between the two persons. Choose a lawyer with a history of fighting STD cases; it would be a plus point if they know how the dating app culture works.

They Should Have a Good Track Record 

Make sure that the attorney you are hiring has a good track record. You can do so by skimming through the customer testimonials and reviews.

They Should Keep Your Identity Confidential 

Your identity matters the most, so when hiring an STD lawyer, make sure that they keep your sensitive information confidential.

Levine and Blit Are Here to Help!

At Levine and Blit, we are a team of experienced STD lawyers in New York with a proven track record of being able to file these cases while keeping your identity confidential at the same time.

Moreover, our experienced attorneys are well aware of the STD laws in the state and the dating culture. Whether you want to file a lawsuit against someone to get compensation or want to settle the case outside the court, our lawyers can help.

We understand that every case is different, so we devise a strategy for every case to meet its unique needs.

Call us at 212-967-3000 to hire our STD lawyers and make things go right in your life.

Contact Levine & Blit, PLLC

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