Have you heard of Tinder? It’s one of many popular apps that help you find a date, whether you live in Singapore or elsewhere. Some go so far as to call it a “hook-up” app, since connections made through the app often result in a sexual relationship on some level. Until recently, Tinder has avoided any reference to sexual health or protection. However, that all changed when Tinder added a health and safety section to its mobile app and its website.
Tinder’s Official Statement
Here’s what Tinder had to say about the new portion of the app and website: “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.” Check the “Settings” tab on the mobile app to find Tinder’s full statement.
In today’s culture of over-abundant information, it’s easy to assume that adults are well-informed about matters of sexual health, including forms of birth control and STD protection. However, the numbers of people becoming infected with STDs or becoming pregnant unintentionally make it clear that the message doesn’t always get through. Thankfully, Tinder has recognised the importance of making sexual safety information available to its users.
Advice About Protection
First of all, Tinder offers information about proper protection. It informs users about vaccinations that can protect them from HIV. Condoms are a common form of STD protection and birth control, and Tinder has some succinct, clear information about them as well.
Suggestions for STD Testing
Whether or not users are employing condoms or vaccinations, Tinder includes information about free HIV testing and STD testing. This portion of the Tinder health and safety section branches out to the Healthvana website and mobile app. Healthvana is a company that supplies software for various healthcare providers. It also runs an app that can deliver the results of an STD or HIV test to the user. The results are secured via passcode.
Partnership with AHF and Healthvana
How did this initiative begin? In 2015, Tinder was targeted by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in a series of ads. The billboards associated Tinder and similar dating apps with common STDs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Tinder sent the AHF a “cease and desist” letter; but rather than sparking conflict between the two groups, the letter incited a series of talks. AHF persuaded Tinder to be a stronger advocate for sexual health awareness among its users. Healthvana joined the talks, ready to be a part of the solution. Eventually, Tinder partnered with Healthvana to promote STD testing and results delivery via the Healthvana app.
An Extension of the Mission
Tinder is committed to helping people make meaningful connections. Now, part of that commitment extends to promoting user safety and wellness. It’s a natural extension of the app’s original purpose, and one that could spare many users from the physical distress associated with an STD.
Whether you’re a Tinder user or not, make sure that you’re taking time to care for yourself. Your date may say that he or she is STD-free, but don’t take that person’s word for it. Use protection, and double-check by visiting Shim Clinic for a quick, confidential STD or HIV test. Protect yourself and test regularly, and you should be able to stay active, healthy, and disease-free.