Los Angeles – Dating mobile apps, Tinder and Grindr, are fighting AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), since the organization covered 12 billboards and 45 bus benches with a message blaming the apps for incrementing Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

“Mobile dating apps are rapidly altering the sexual landscape by making casual sex as easily available as ordering a pizza. In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for Millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally be just a few feet away—as well as the next STD,” reads a message on the AHF’s site.

AHF’s new billboard campaign draws attention to rising STD rates found among users of popular dating or “hookup” mobile phone apps such as Tinder and Grindr. Credit: Business Wire

After the messages on binders and benches went up, the dating mobile apps quickly acted. For instance, Grindr, a dating app for gay men, removed all AHF’s ads for free STD testing in its site. Though they have not confirmed if they have asked to remove the billboards, a spokesperson from the company said they are currently discussing the issue.

“We were surprised at the approach the AHF took, and paused the campaign in order to speak with them and assess our relationship,” a Grindr spokesperson told CNNMoney. “In the end, we’re all on the same page regarding this issue, as health and wellness concerns us all.”

On the other side, Tinder sent AHF a cease-and-desist letter, since they accused the company of wanting to affect their reputation.

“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test offered by your organization,” the company said in its letter.

However, AHF officials are not backing up, for they still plan to extend the billboards to other cities, such as New York City, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale.

The campaign

The AHF’s billboard campaign began on September 18 in Los Angeles. The message is very descriptive. On the billboard appears a man with the word “Tinder” written on his head while he looks very closely at a woman with the word “chlamydia” written across hers. Next to them, a pair of men appeared to have the words “Grindr,” and “Gonorrhea” written across their faces.

The billboards were made in an effort to create awareness on the importance of STD testing, since there has been an increase in the rate of these diseases that correlates with the rise in popularity of mobile dating apps.

Tinder, which launched in 2012, is a location-based social discovery application, which facilitates communication between known or unknown users that are interested in each other. Grindr, which began in 2009, does the same, but for the homosexual community. According to a statement from the AHF, both are top lifestyle apps on iOS and Google Play.

Source: Daily Mail