Grindr has enabled a feature that will regularly remind users to get tested for HIV.
The app now contains an opt-in option to receive notifications every three or six months, providing testing reminders to its 3.6 million daily users.
“We felt this update would be a great way to make an immediate impact within the community on a broad scale and encourage more regular HIV testing,” said Jack Harrison-Quintana, director of Grindr for equality, in a statement.
When it gets close to testing time, a pink notification will appear to alert users. The app will also find a nearby clinic where testing can be carried out.
The new feature can be enabled in the profile edit screen, where users can already share their HIV status and when they were last tested.
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, former San Francisco Department of Public Health director of STD Prevention and Control Services, told Buzzfeed News that he “welcomed” the move, because it targets where men are meeting each other.
“To see [Grindr] do something themselves and change the platform in a way that can really lead to sustained increase in HIV-testing reminders…is really a breakthrough,” he said.
In addition, Grindr also announced free advertising for HIV-testing sites in the US. It comes after two years of trialing free advertisements in 15 underserved areas — a study that apparently produced exemplary results.
“With free ads for our services running on Grindr, we’ve been able to target users in our community and raise awareness for our center and HIV-testing services,” said Adrian Shanker, founder of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
It’s hoped that the free advertising spaces will help reach more LGBTQ men of color, after a CDC report found that black and Latino gay and bisexual men accounted for the largest amount of new HIV infections in 2016.