Tinder has launched a new feature allowing people to get sexual health tests.
The hook-up app is increasingly popular with both gay and straight users – and has millions of active users across the world.
Some sexual health experts have sought to link the rise of apps like Tinder and Grindr to a boom in certain sexually transmitted infections, with a prominent AIDS Healthcare Foundation billboard campaign previously linking Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia to the apps.
After a dispute over the billboards, Tinder has reacted by rolling out a service to match people to local testing services.
The app now links to Healthvana’s HIV and STD testing site locator in the United States – following advice from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Dr Jessica Carbino, Lead Sociologist at Tinder, said: “Tinder is proud to empower millions of users to create relationships.
“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.
“While the CDC, who conducted the largest and most credible study on the topic, has never identified any connection that supports the idea that Tinder usage correlates with, let alone causes, an increase in STDs, we’re of course in favor of organizations that provide public education resources on the topic, and we’re happy to do our part in supporting these educational efforts.”
Whitney Engeran Cordova of the AHF said: “The CDC recently reported that sexually transmitted diseases increased dramatically in 2014. We are unfortunately now waging an uphill battle on this front.
“The CDC also noted, the majority of these infections are affecting young people – the demographic that is on their mobile phones all day long.“This is why 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. And we hope to see other dating sites do the same.”
Critics point out that the link is currently buried within an FAQ on the service’s website, and is not given a more prominent position.