2015 was a rough year for Tinder. From Vanity Fair’s diatribe against the popular dating app for facilitating a “dating apocalypse” (and Tinder’s infamous 31-tweet response), to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s September ad campaign tying the app to increased STD rates, Tinder is now learning to take the high road.
Tinder, which boasts 9 billion romantic matches, wants the world to know it cares about your sexual health. Online daters can now visit Tinder’s newly launched Health Safety page to access information on safe sex and utilize a search function to locate free clinics, doctors and online providers for STD testing.
The service is part of a partnership with Healthvana, a patient-engagement platform that helps users locate services in cities around the country.
The impetus for launching the page came as a response to a series of billboards launched by AHF in Los Angeles and New York City that lambasted popular hookup sites like Tinder and Grinder for spreading disease. In September, Tinder spoke out again the ads, claiming that they made “wholly unsubstantiated accusations” and acted as a ploy to get people to take HIV tests specifically given by the organization.
Now, it seems Tinder has realized the importance of promoting safe, healthy sexual relationships. Its Health Safety page encourages users to properly protect themselves and be open and honest with their partners
“Tinder is proud to empower millions of users to create relationships,” the company’s Lead Sociologist Jessica Carbino said in a statement. “An important aspect of any healthy relationship — whether formed on Tinder or otherwise — is ensuring sexual health and safety. We’d be delighted to see other major social networks follow in our footsteps in educating the public.”
AHF was impressed with Tinder’s moxie, and on Thursday announced it will remove its ads now that the app is making moves to promote sexual health among its users.
“It is such welcome news that Tinder will add a Health Safety section with a link to Healthvana, making it easier for people to find testing locations through an easily accessible, modern platform,” Cordova said in a statement. “And we hope to see other dating sites do the same.”
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