MetaMedical™ Solutions Inc

Grindr launches free HIV testing initiative in New Zealand

Dating app Grindr has partnered with the New Zealand charity the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa to distribute free at-home HIV test kits across the country.

The announcement comes as part of Grindr’s initiative aimed at expanding LGBT+ access to healthcare services, dubbed Grindr for Equality, which aims to give app users immediate access to immediately available sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing kits, accessible and orderable through the app itself.

Last year, the company distributed more than 235,000 HIV test kits, mainly to Grindr users in the US who had never previously been tested. Now, following this the company is expanding the initiative into New Zealand, offering access to the US-based OraSure Technologies line of OraQuick HIV tests.

Steph Niaupari, from Grindr for Equality, said: “In launching similar initiatives in other countries, we’ve seen the tangible impact that in-app access can drive in increasing global access to HIV testing. We look forward to bringing similar programs to Grindr users around the world.”

It follows after the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) raised a series of concerns over the sharp rise of STIs, including a sharp increase in the rates of syphilis, which rose from 113,739 in 2018, to 203,500 in 2022, representing a five-year rise of 78.9%.

Across the US and UK, two other very popular markets for Grindr where the company offers its Grindr for Equality services, the sale of HIV tests has seen an uptick in the years. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) reported a sharp rise in the number of HIV-positive tests registered in England, seeing a rise of 6% from 2,313 in 2021 to 2,444 in 2022.

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Joe Rich, chief executive at the Burnett Foundation, added: “We are incredibly excited to partner with Grindr to make HIV self-test kits more easily available across Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We hope this will encourage more people in our communities to test for HIV regularly so they can know their status and enjoy great sexual health. Testing for HIV regularly is a vital tool in helping us achieve an Aotearoa with zero HIV transmissions.”

Elsewhere in the field of STIs, UK gynaecological health start-up Daye and contract research organisation Lindus Health have teamed up to launch a clinical trial investigating a tampon capable of detecting human papillomavirus (HPV) and STIs.

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