Hookup app Grindr is introducing reminders for HIV testing for its users.
The app will send users who opt in a test reminder every three to six months, along with their nearest testing facility, according to The New York Times.
Director for equality Jack Harrison-Quintana said the move is to “reduce HIV transmission and support our whole community—regardless of HIV status—in living long and fulfilling lives.”
HIV experts have praised the innovation.
“This will ‘demedicalise’ testing and destigmatise it,” said Dr Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health.
“The more you make it normal, the more people are going to access it.”
Sexually active gay men are recommended to be tested at least annually for HIV, and those at higher risk, such as men who have multiple partners or do not use condoms or PrEP, should consider testing more often.
Dr Halkitis said other gay hookup apps could follow Grindr’s lead in providing test reminders, a move that Harrison-Quintana said Grindr would welcome.
The app will offer HIV test reminders to users around the world, though Harrison-Quintana said there is currently no database of testing sites in many countries that criminalise homosexuality, such as Indonesia, Russia and Egypt.
Adrian Shanker of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBTI Community Centre in Pennsylvania said that he credits Grindr for many of the men attending his clinic for HIV testing.
Seven per cent of men at the clinic said they came in specifically due to a reminder on the app—though that figure is likely higher because some may not want to tell the clinic they use Grindr.
Primarily used by gay and bisexual men, Grindr last year expanded its functionality to allow people of all genders to use it.