Clinical

Launching an HIV testing reminder

Trying a new tool to reduce infection rates


 

The world’s largest gay dating app, Grindr, changed its software earlier this year to create reminders for users to get regular HIV tests.

vials used in an HIV test are shown jarun011/Thinkstock

According to Grindr, 3.3 million users around the world visit the site daily; it sends those who opt into the service a reminder every 3-6 months to get a test. The message also directs them to the nearest testing site. Grindr also plans to give clinics, gay community centers, and other testing sites free advertising.

Among health care providers, the decision has been widely applauded. “This will ‘demedicalize’ testing and destigmatize it,” Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, in Newark, N.J., told the New York Times. “The more you make it normal, the more people are going to access it.”

Studies have shown that reminders by text or phone can triple or quadruple the chance that the recipient will get tested.

Reference

McNeil Jr. DG. Grindr App to Offer H.I.V. Test Reminders. The New York Times. March 26, 2018. Accessed April 5, 2018.

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