Gay dating app adds HIV testing feature - CBS46 News

Gay dating app adds HIV testing feature

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

If you’re scrolling on the gay dating app, Grindr, you may notice something new. Now there’s a feature that reminds you to get tested for HIV every three to six months.

“It is a problem, it is happening more often, it is happening more often among black gay men and we can’t let it go on any longer,” says Dr. David Malebranche with the Morehouse School of Medicine.

It’s why Dr. Malebranche says it may be the right idea, but the wrong target.

“I don’t think Grindr is the best app,” he says. “If you want to reach where the heart of the epidemic is with black gay men, you’d probably be better served to use an app like Jacked.”

He says the epicenter of the problem is in the southeast, specifically Atlanta.  

As of 2015, more than 32,000 people were diagnosed with HIV, with 80 percent of them being men, 70 percent being black, 19 percent white and 7 percent Latino.

“I applaud them for making an effort, but I’m not sure how much it’s going to move the needle,” says Eric Paulk, Georgia Equality’s HIV policy organizer.

Paulk is skeptical too, mostly because of the stigma attached to getting tested.

“The fear can be so great that even something like this reminder wouldn’t be a useful tool for some people,” says Paulk.

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