Grindr has announced it is offering users the chance to state their HIV status on the app.
The new fields, which were announced yesterday, hope to encourage safer offline sexual encounters by allowing Grindr users to state their HIV status on their profile.
Grindr for Equality’s Director, Jack Harrison-Quintana, told The Body that Grindr hopes to: “Create an open dialogue among our users about sexual health.
“Honesty, compassion, and education lay the foundation to make Grindr an even safer space for guys to connect, and we can all contribute to getting there.”
With the new status options, users can opt to state if they are: HIV-positive, HIV-positive undetectable, HIV-negative, HIV-negative on PrEP.
Declaring this information is not compulsory, however.
And Harrison-Quintana has assured that this information will only be displayed on user profiles and will not used to create a filter option that members can use.
Co-founder and director of Building Healthy Online Communities, Dan Wohlfeiler said: “Grindr, by adding these new profile options, is taking a great step in creating a healthy online community through supporting HIV prevention and fighting stigma.
“Public health programs have spent millions of dollars encouraging men to talk about their status. But for many men, it remains hard to have that conversation, especially in person, with a new partner. Profile screens can make it so much easier
“Providing men explicit profile options and easily-accessible, clear information about what they mean, are so important. First, studies have shown that knowing a partner’s status reduces high-risk sex.
“Second, having profile options where men can proudly say ‘I’m on PrEP’ normalizes PrEP for HIV-negative men. Offering HIV-positive men an easy way can take pride in saying ‘I’m undetectable’ does the same thing for other HIV-positive users.
“These are all powerful ways that gay men can encourage one another to take care of themselves and each other.”
Grindr is not the first gay dating platform to integrate options for sharing information about sexual health, with Scruff previously adding a list of HIV-prevention methods to let users share their preferences.
Grindr is hoping its new fields will help to boost safe-sex awareness without causing stigma against HIV-positive users – one of the main concerns the company faced at the drawing-board stage for the new tool.
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