LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of a newly released U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report documenting an alarming increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the US in 2014—with the majority affecting 15 to 24-year olds—AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is revealing plans today to roll out a new ‘full body’ Tinder and Grindr STD billboard campaign focusing on the potential STD risk users of such hook up applications face. According to an article in USA Today, “Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis increased dramatically in 2014, according to the CDC.”
AHF’s new Tinder/Grindr STD billboard campaign, which has been in the works for weeks, follows a similar Tinder/Grindr STD billboard put up by AHF in September in Greater Los Angeles and South Florida. Those billboards drew worldwide notice and widespread social media attention—as well as threatened legal action from Tinder. Those billboards also resulted in AHF being blacklisted from advertising on Grindr for a brief period. The new billboard campaign will expand to additional cities and locations beyond California and Florida.
AHF’s latest Tinder/Grindr STD billboards feature naked ‘full body’ silhouettes of couples embracing horizontally set against a brightly colored graffiti-style background. The September billboards featured cameo-like black silhouettes of four upright heads positioned as two couples facing each other. In both the old and new artwork, each couple (one a man and a woman; the other, two men) one member of the couple has the name of one of the popular hook up apps, such as Tinder, superimposed on it; the facing body (or head) has the name of a sexually transmitted disease, such as Chlamydia, across it. The billboards also include the URL ‘FreeSTDCheck.org,’ where people can get information and locations offering free HIV and STD testing.
“While AHF’s Tinder/Grindr STD billboards do not expressly equate these social apps with STDs, they do encourage users of the apps to think about whether their own use of them has put them at risk,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “There are legitimate concerns, and a critical ongoing need for greater attention to STD prevention and transmission—as the alarming new STD statistics from the CDC show.”
A lengthy September 2015 Vanity Fair article entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse” explored the role mobile dating apps are increasingly playing in encouraging casual sex among young adults. AHF’s billboard campaigns featuring Tinder and Grindr attempt to remind users of the inherent STD risks of both heterosexual and homosexual casual sexual encounters.
"Both Tinder and Grindr’s response to our previous public service billboards on STD awareness were really tone deaf. We expected that these businesses would be concerned about the sexual health of their customers, from whom they make millions. Instead they called lawyers and blocked our advertising," said Whitney Engeran Cordova, Senior Director, Public Health Division for AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“AHF’s efforts to have a meaningful discussion about STD awareness and prevention with Tinder went nowhere,” added Weinstein. “They denied that hook up apps, and Tinder in particular, could possibly be a contributing factor in the dramatic rise in STD rates. Our new Tinder/Grindr STD billboards show that the gloves—and the clothes—are off in our battle for increased STD awareness and prevention.”
Tinder, which was released in September 2012 on college campuses, is the #1 Lifestyle app in both the iOS and Google Play app stores. The company stated in May 2015 that “the single largest age group on Tinder, making up more than half of our entire user base, is 18-24.” According to research firm GlobalWebIndex, the app is being used largely in urban locations (76%) like Los Angeles. Launched in 2009, Grindr is the most popular gay male location-based mobile app with over 10 million user downloads and over 2 million daily active users in 192 countries.
AHF’s Wellness Centers provide free testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. To find the nearest location for STD screening and treatment, visit www.freestdcheck.org
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 500,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare