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Grindr Remindr: Hookup App Now Provides HIV Testing Prompts, Info

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday March 27, 2018

Hookup app Grindr now offer an optional service to those interested in getting a free reminder to get tested for HIV, the reported.

The new service went online March 26. Those who sign on can opt for notifications every three months or every six months. In addition to providing testing reminders, the service will also provide information about where a user can find local testing, the Times reported.

"The new testing reminder feature was developed with guidance from Building Healthy Online Communities, a consortium of public health leaders and gay dating website and app owners who are working together to support HIV and STI prevention online," a press release from Grinder said.

Hopes are high that the new reminder service could help curb the pandemic's ever-growing numbers. With more than 3 million users worldwide, Grindr has significant reach. If similar apps, such as Hornet, Scruff, and Jack'd follow suit, the impact will be magnified, the Times article noted; Grindr's Director for Equality, Jack Harrison-Quintana, said that the company would welcome similar efforts from its competitors.

The Times quoted Rutgers School of Public Health official Perry N. Halkitis as saying the reminder would " 'demedicalize' testing and destigmatize it."

The frequency of the reminders falls in line with CDC recommendations, which advise "sexually active" men to get tested every 3 to 6 months. The CDC also recommends those who are less active, such as those who are in stable exclusive relationships, to get tested yearly.

"Grindr's making it as easy to get tested as to find a date," the Grindr press release quoted Dan Wohlfeiler, director of Building Healthy Online Communities, as saying. "Getting tested regularly for STDs, including HIV, is one of the most important things a guy can do for his own health, and his partner's."

"This is not the first time Grindr has leveraged its technology to raise sexual health awareness and make an impact in public health," noted the company's release. "About a year ago, Grindr gave users the ability to include their HIV status and last test date fields in Grindr profiles in an effort to foster an open dialogue among their users about sexual health."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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