Grindr, the popular LGBTQ+ dating app, is partnering with a program distributing free at-home HIV tests as part of a new public health initiative.
Now, within the app’s main menu, US-based users will see a new “Free HIV Home Test” button. People who order will receive an OraQuick kit: an FDA-approved, over-the-counter test that works by swabbing the gums. The test shows results within 20 minutes.
The public health initiative distributing these free tests is called “Together TakeMeHome,” a new partnership comprising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Building Healthy Online Communities, a consortium of public health programs and gay dating apps.
Grindr explained in a blog post that access to HIV testing is “one of the biggest limitations in the fight against the persistent HIV epidemic.” HIV continues to affect the gay, bi and trans community more than many other groups.
So far, the Together TakeMeHome program has given away 125,000 HIV test kits, Grindr said in its blog post, adding that one-third of those kits were sent to people taking a test for the first time, “showing the power and innovation that comes from bringing these partners together.” The aim is to give away 1 million kits over the next five years and Grindr hopes to expand the program to other countries.
The program received more than 10,000 orders in its first day, according to Emory University.
A 2019 CDC report found that fewer than 40% of people in the United States have been screened for HIV. It recommends that all people 13 to 64 be tested at least once. For those who have tested positive for HIV, the CDC recommends seeking immediate treatment with a number of medicines now available.
Correction: Grindr, which has about 12 million monthly active users, became a publicly traded company in 2022. Shares are up about 30% for the year.
A previous version of this article incorrectly described some elements of Grindr’s program. The app is partnering with Together TakeMeHome, which is distributing the test kits. Through that partnership, the program received more than 10,000 orders in its first day.