The dating mobile app, Tinder, added a new feature that will help users locate the nearest clinic to get tested for STDs and HIV.
The new feature, called Health Safety section, was unveiled on Tinder website this week. The move was prompted by the battle between Tinder and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
The foundation launched an awareness campaign associating mobile dating apps, such as Tinder, with STDs. In September 2015, AHF put up billboards in Los Angeles, California that featured silhouettes of people with overlaying STD names, such as “chlamydia” and “gonorrhea,” right next to “Tinder” and “Grindr,” the Daily News reported.
The foundation noted the reason for their campaign was a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which stated a dramatic increase in STD cases in 2014.
In a statement, AHF senior director Whitney Engeran Cordova said: “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.”
After learning that Tinder is adding the STD testing locator to its application, the activist group lauded the dating company. AHF added they will remove its billboards and advertisements that associated Tinder with the diseases, Reuters reported.
On its website, Tinder outlined their newfound commitment to their users.
The new feature provides guidance on “proper protection” including the use of condom and vaccinations. The last section includes a call-to-action on how to find free HIV and STD testing, which links out to an app and site by Healthvana, a company that provides software to healthcare providers.
In an emailed statement to International Business Times, Rosette Pambakian, Tinder’s VP of communications and branding, said: “Tinder empowers our users to create relationships. An important aspect of any healthy relationship – whether formed on Tinder or otherwise — is ensuring proper sexual health and safety.”
Pambakian also stressed that CDC has never identified a connection to dating apps and 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,” Pambakian wrote.