Who’s to blame: Grindr or the lack of STD awareness?
While gay blogs across the Internet might hint at the fact that hookup apps may or may not be an issue, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation stepped on every eggshell.
A new Los Angeles billboard depicts two couples in silhouette with the words “Tinder,” “chlamydia,” “Grindr,” and “gonorrhea” beside the website FreeSTDCheck.org.
Are hookup apps, in fact, a huge reason for the rise in STDs among millennials?
A survey released by the Community Healthcare Network focused on men who have sex with men using hookup apps—80% of respondents said they were knowledgeable in how the HIV virus was transmitted, 46.4% admitted to having bareback sex always, often or sometimes.
The apps, obviously, aren’t the reason for the rise in STIs, but they may (or may not) create wider opportunities for them to spread. Tinder and Grindr, of course, wasted no time responding to the billboard.
“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization,” Tinder attorney Jonathan Reichman said in a cease and desist latter to AHF.
Grindr also dropped AHF as a paid advertiser, stating “We were surprised at the approach [AHF] took, and paused the campaign in order to speak with them and assess our relationship.”
But while the storm is hot and churning, should we stop and ask ourselves if it’s really a bad thing? On one hand, the ad is promoting STD health awareness (which is great), but on the other hand it might make Grindr & Tinder users feel judged.
Whitney Engeran-Cordova, AHF’s public health division director said: “In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally just be few feet away—as well as the next STD.”
The question is this: who’s to blame, hookup apps or a lack of STD health information? Depending on which it is, you’re sure to end up on the far side of a rather heated discussion.