New York (CNN) Grindrpopular LGBTQ+ dating app, is distributing free at-home HIV tests as part of a new public health initiative.
The app explained in a blog post that access to HIV testing is “one of the biggest limitations in the fight against the ongoing HIV epidemic.” HIV continues to affect the gay, bi and trans community more than many other groups.
The test is now available to order within the app’s main menu to US-based users with a new “Free HIV Home Test” button. People can get the OraQuick kit, an FDA-approved, over-the-counter test that works by rubbing the gum and takes about 20 minutes to see results.
Grindr calls the “TakeMeHome” project and partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Building Healthy Online Communities, a consortium of public health programs and gay dating apps.
To date, the program has provided 125,000 HIV test kits, Grindr said in its blog post, and one-third of those kits have been sent to people taking the test for the first time, “showing power and change that comes from bringing these partners together.” The goal is to hand out 1 million kits over the next five years and Grindr hopes to expand the program to other countries.
A 2019 CDC report found that less than 40% of people in the United States have been tested for HIV. It recommends that all people 13 to 64 be tested at least once. For those who test positive for HIV, the CDC recommends seeking immediate treatment with several medications that are now available.
Grindr became a publicly traded company last year and has approximately 12 million monthly active users. Shares are up nearly 30% for the year.