According to California Department of Health Chief of STD Control Dr. Heidi Bauer, Grinder and similar apps are working to implement an STD notification system.
Bauer said several possibilities were being thrown out, but the anonymous notification system is the most likely choice. A notification could be sent through the app.
Although there’s no timeframe for the launch, a system is currently in development, and a pilot program is available.
That’s the word from Director of Health Consortium Building Healthy Online Communities Dan Wohlfeiler. He said approval for the system was given and a link directed to an external link can currently notify people.
While the notification system is still being developed for the apps, Bauer said she’s optimistic that it’ll soon be available through them.
Currently, the external service requires its participants to have their partners’ email or phone number. However, Bauer admits that people don’t always communicate outside apps. She said it’s a gap, but a workaround is being developed to bridge the communication gap.
Bauer said apps could develop their own notification alert system that people could send to other partners but still remain anonymous.
She said users could consent to the app taking responsibility in sending out notifications, saying users should be tested for STDs and give them a link to a zip code search engine to find the closest STD.
Bauer said the process still needs further development, but that the app developers are on the right track to protect online daters.
Grindr introduced an opt-in feature in March that reminds users to be tested for HIV every three to six months. In April, Grindr announced that users HIV status has been shared with two outside companies for testing reasons.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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