Earlier this year, Grindr partnered with organisations in the US to distribute over 200,000 free HIV self-test kits across the country. The dating app announced that this service will be coming to Europe, available first in Ireland and Georgia.
Grindr is partnering with Equality Movement and MPOWER to provide these self-test kits, with users in the two countries able to order them straight from an in-app feature.
This expands upon its previous US-based initiative, which saw over 232,262 test kits distributed within the first six months. The majority of these orders were placed through the Grindr app, with a quarter of kits going to those who’ve never tested for HIV before.
“Access to HIV testing continues to be one of the biggest obstacles in the fight against the global HIV epidemic. In-person testing, in particular, poses barriers such as clinic operating hours, transportation, costs, and concerns about privacy or stigma”, the dating app explained.
Grindr highlighted that access to HIV testing is particularly difficult for users who are in rural areas or who have not come ‘out’ to their families. The ability to then order and test discreetly at home provides a convenient option for many individuals.
“For the past eight years, it has been my goal to find ways to increase access to HIV testing for Grindr users, and of all the things we’ve experimented with, embedding in-app links to home self-test kits has emerged as the most powerful strategy by a considerable margin,” said Jack Harrison-Quintana, Director of Grindr For Equality.
“Making free at-home HIV self-testing available directly through the Grindr app helps to ensure members of the LGBTQ+ community have access to vital services they need to protect their health and feel supported in their daily lives,” added Lasha Nonikashvili of Equality Movement. “We are thrilled that the LGBTQ+ community across Georgia will now be able to protect their health with an easy solution they can access from home.”
Adam Shanley of MPOWER explained, “This partnership with Grindr has the potential to revolutionise the way our community across Ireland accesses vital at-home HIV self-testing”, adding that “by making these resources more widely available at home, we hope to increase access, reduce stigma, and contribute to the long-term reduction of HIV”.