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Grindr takes action over AIDS charity’s billboard linking it to STDs

By Will Stroude

Grindr has taken action against a US AIDS charity’s provocative billboard, which equates the gay hook-up app with sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

The company has dropped the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s paid in-app advertising for free STD checks after the charity erected a billboard in Los Angeles last week linking Grindr and fellow location-based app Tinder with the transmission of diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, LA Times reports.


“In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally just be a few feet away – as well as the next STD,” the foundation said in a statement.

“While these sexual encounters are often intentionally brief or even anonymous, sexually transmitted diseases can have lasting effects on an individual’s personal health and can certainly create epidemics in communities at large,” it continued.

Defending its decision to drop the charity’s STD ads, Grindr said: “We were surprised at the approach [the foundation] took, and paused the campaign in order to speak with them and assess our relationship.”

The company added: “As one of the world’s largest gay platforms, we take this issue very seriously. At the end of the day, we are all on the same side in this issue, and strive to work with our partners and advocacy groups to achieve similar goals.

“A more connected and informed gay community is a better thing for us all.”

Tinder has also taken action against the billboard, issuing the charity with a cease and desist letter denouncing the link between dating apps an venereal disease as a “unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated” accusation, that has been made to “irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization”.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation says it has no plans to remove the billboard.


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