On the first day of European HIV Testing Week (20 November), HIV Ireland, announces a groundbreaking partnership with Grindr, the world’s largest dating app for the gay community. In a significant milestone, Ireland becomes the first country outside of the United States where Grindr users can seamlessly order a free self-test for HIV directly from within the Grindr interface, completing the process in less than 3 minutes.
“Launching to coincide with European Testing Week (20 -27 Nov), our aim is to enhance accessibility to HIV self-testing, a simple and effective way to test for HIV, at a place and time of one’s own choosing,” said Stephen O’Hare, Executive Director of HIV Ireland. “Users of the service can also avail of dedicated outreach and support services, including referral for treatment if required, from HIV Ireland’s MPOWER programme for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men,” he added.
“For the past eight years, it has been my personal goal to figure out how to increase access to HIV testing for Grindr users, and of all the things I’ve experimented with, embedding in-app links to home test kits has emerged as the most powerful strategy by a considerable margin.” said Jack Harrison-Quintana, Director of Grindr for Equality. “I could not be more excited to launch this partnership in Ireland and to take it around the world.”
Using a dedicated function within the app, Grindr users across Ireland will be able to directly access HIV Ireland’s MPOWER HIV self-test order portal. Self-test kits will be sent by post, in discreet packaging, to an address of the service user’s choice.
Commenting on this innovative partnership, Adam Shanley, MPOWER Programme Manager at HIV Ireland, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We are proud to join forces with Grindr in this pioneering initiative to break down barriers and make HIV testing more accessible to the communities we serve. By integrating our HIV self-test order portal directly into the Grindr app, we are providing users with a convenient and confidential way to take control of their health.”
The initiative has been designed to address barriers frequently faced by individuals in accessing HIV testing, such as limited clinic operating hours, transportation challenges, financial constraints, and concerns about privacy and stigma. HIV Ireland has been at the forefront of innovative approaches to HIV testing in Ireland, including the introduction of peer-led rapid HIV testing in gay bars and clubs and the development of a free HIV self-test service – both a first for Ireland.
“For various service users, including those living in rural areas or individuals who are not openly “out” to their families, barriers to access can become even more pronounced. Thinking outside of the box to make HIV self-testing more accessible provides users with a convenient and discreet option to prioritise their health at a time and a place that suits them.” Shanley continued.
In addition to the launch of this partnership, HIV Ireland will continue its annual commitment to promote European Testing with HIV self-tests available to be picked up at the Dublin Pride Hub and rapid HIV tests available throughout the week in popular gay bars and community venues including Pantibar, The George, and Outhouse.
Notes for Editors
For media inquiries, please contact: Adam Shanley, MPOWER Programme Manager at HIV Ireland, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
European Testing Week is a European campaign that encourages partner organisations — in community, health care and policy institutions — throughout Europe to unite for one week twice a year to increase testing efforts and promote awareness on the benefits of earlier hepatitis and HIV testing. This initiative has progressed since its start in 2013 and has grown to be a widely recognised European event with hundreds of organisations participating every year. It runs (Autum schedule) from 20 – 27 November 2023.
HIV Ireland’s MPOWER HIV self-test kit ordering portal is available to view at: https://mpower.hivireland.ie/self-test-order/