Billboard Targets Mobile Hookup Apps

STD Billboard Campaign

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, or AHF, launched a new billboard campaign targeted at users of location-based mobile dating apps. The apps are often referred to as mobile hookup apps, because they use the GPS functionality in your mobile device that makes it easier to locate someone close to you for casual sex. AHF claims that the recent rise in sexually-transmitted diseases corresponds to the increases in the number of people using these apps. AHF calls the apps “a digital bathhouse” and says that they make casual sex “as easy as ordering a pizza.” The billboard is designed to educate people who use location-based dating apps for casual sex encounters that they are at risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease, and it encourages them to get tested for STDs.

AHF Billboard Campaign Image
Courtesy of AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Grindr and Tinder

The billboard, which was launched in Los Angeles, specifically highlights two mobile hookup apps by the same company, one for straight people and one for gay people. Grindr,  the gay version, was the first to be released in 2009. It has more than two million daily users all over the world. Tinder, the straight version, was released in 2012. It is the most popular Lifestyle app in both the iOS and Google Play stores. About one-half of Tinder users are age 18 to 24, which is similar to the age group with the highest incidence of STDs.  About 75 percent of Tinder users are located in urban cities.  When you sign on to either app, you can view and chat with other users, who are displayed in order of proximity to you. The billboard pairs the word “chlamydia” with Tinder and “gonorrhea” with Grindr.

High-Risk Behaviors

Health officials caution sexually-active adults that high-risk behaviors such as having casual or anonymous sex, multiple sex partners, sex without a condom and sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to STD infections. AHF operates wellness centers that provide free STD testing services.

Free STD Tests are Not Anonymous

There are no anonymous STD tests at any clinic. If you test positive for an STD, your name and other personal information will be reported automatically to the health department. The health department might call you or visit you at home to find out the contact information for your most recent sexual partners so they can be notified about your STD. To protect your identity, follow the instructions in our free guide to anonymous STD testing to get a truly anonymous test and anonymous treatment for many sexually-transmitted diseases.


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