Proving once again that embarrassment really is a powerful motivator, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has successfully convinced Tinder to add a health safety section to its website, that includes a link to Healthvana’s free HIV and STD testing site locator. This move was likely prompted by the very public billboards that have loomed over the Los Angeles skyline for the last several months. And while Tinder reportedly issued a cease and desist letter to the AHF, it took these latest health measures (not legal action), to get the Foundation to take the signs down.
“Tinder is proud to empower millions of users to create relationships,” said Dr. Jessica Carbino, lead sociologist at Tinder in a prepared statement. “An important aspect of any healthy relationship — whether formed on Tinder or otherwise — is ensuring sexual health and safety. We’d be delighted to see other major social networks follow in our footsteps in educating the public.” Dating apps have been blamed for the dramatic rise in STDs and STIs in the last couple years, with Tinder and Grindr receiving the vast majority of the blame both at home and abroad. And while Tinder’s decision to implement a health safety tab doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s taking responsibility for the disturbing trend, at the very least, it looks to be taking the responsible route forward.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently noted that the majority of new sexually transmitted disease cases have affected young people, a demographic that is also most active on mobile devices and, by extension, many of these dating apps. “This is why it is such welcome news that Tinder will add a health safety section with a link to Healthvana, making it easier for people to find testing locations through an easily accessible, modern platform,” said Whitney Engeran Cordova, senior director, public health division for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “And we hope to see other dating sites do the same.”
Healthvana, the tool of choice for Tinder, is a cloud-based technology platform that includes electronic patient intake, electronic test results delivery with next steps, electronic reminders, and an HIV and STD testing locator. Since its 2014 launch, the company has delivered over 200,000 test results to patients across the United States, and with Tinder as a new partner, it seems that this number will only increase.
“Staying healthy in today’s dating world means getting tested regularly, practicing safe sex, and having honest conversations about your HIV and STD status,” said Ramin Bastani, CEO of Healthvana. “Healthvana empowers people with actionable health information at their fingertips so they can make better decisions. We already have hundreds of thousands of people using our testing locator to find free, quick, and confidential testing at sexual health clinics near them”