This week, Grindr has announced that it is changing its software to urge millions of users to get frequent H.I.V. tests.
Grindr will send its users who opt into the new service a reminder every three to six months. It will include information about the nearest testing site and the platform will also let clinics, gay community centres and other testing sites advertise for free.
The company is changing its software to try and “reduce H.I.V. transmission and support our whole community – regardless of H.I.V. status – in living long and full filling lives,” said Jack Harrison-Quintana, Grindr’s Director for equality.
Perry N.Halkitis, a dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health and an expert in gay male behaviour, said: “This will ‘demedicalize’ testing and destigmatize it.”
“The more you make it normal, the more people are going to access it.”
It is recommended from the C.D.C that all men to be tested at least once a year to be safe, as more than 107,000 gay and bisexual men in the US have H.I.V. and do not know.
Grindr’s update in software will benefit many of its users, as new studies have also shown that text/phone reminders can triple or even quadruple the chance that the user will get tested.
The company has also encouraged the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, a daily pill which protects against the virus.
Grindr is also working with CenterLink to help gay men in the South and rural areas. CenterLink represents over 200 gay-orientated community centres across the U.S.
Recently, it was reported that Grindr was found to be sharing its users’ immune status with an external company.
Read more here.