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“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.”

Grindr has launched a new feature update which aims to raise sexual health awareness amongst its users.

As of today (27 March), users will receive discreet automatic reminders to get tested for HIV every three to six months. Users will be able to opt out from receiving updates.

The feature was developed by Building Healthy Online Communities, an organisation consisting of public health leaders and gay dating website/app owners who have combined their efforts to support HIV and STI prevention. The groundbreaking update is notable for the undeniable impact it’ll have on the number of Grindr users, with 3.6 million logging into the app daily.

Dan Wohlfeiler – director of Building Healthy Online Communities – said: “Grindr’s making it as easy to get tested as to find a date. 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.”

Director of Grindr for Equality, Jack Harrison-Quintana, also commented on the revolutionary update: “Grindr has always been committed to its users and the issues affecting the LGBTQ community at large.

“One of Grindr for Equality’s goals is to contribute to the movement to increase information, reduce HIV transmission, and support our whole community – regardless of HIV status – in living long and fulfilling lives, free of stigma. 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.”

The company have also partnered with CenterLink, an organisation developing free ads for HIV testing services for more than 200 LGBTQ community centres in the US. The advertisements target rural areas where people infected with the virus aren’t likely to be diagnosed until later on in their lives.

“In many parts of the country, LGBTQ community centers are the only places for miles where LGBTQ people can go to feel safe, and we hear of people who travel great lengths just to get tested,” said Denise Spivak, Deputy Director at CenterLink. “With free ads, Grindr gives under-resourced centers a way to reach out to these individuals in a way that they never could before and educate a huge number of people who might need our services and who otherwise might never have known that the centers were able to help.”

Grindr has tested the update in 15 of America’s rural areas.

Adrian Shanker, Founder and Executive Director of the Allentown, Pennsylvania Bradbury-sullivan LGBT Community Centre, praised the feature: “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.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in use of our HIV testing site over the last two years, particularly in people that have never been tested before. With this data we are able to better address the needs in our community. It’s a virtuous cycle that Grindr has helped contribute to. Without Grindr’s platform, we wouldn’t be able to do this work around prevention and awareness or reach those most in need.”

For those who want to opt in, the feature can be activated within the Edit Profile section of your Grindr user profile.