Do you enjoy long walks on the beach? Are you a morning person or a night person? What is your favorite ice cream, Chocolate or vanilla? What is the highest level of formal education that you have completed? Do you… ummm… have HIV and how infectious are you?
All typical questions for a dating app, right?
Grindr, the popular geosocial dating app for gay men, is considering asking its members about their HIV status. Grindr programmers have already conducted a survey asking its members if they have HIV, if they are engaging in an effective treatment, if HIV is detectable in their blood, and if they want to be able to see other members’ HIV statuses. Grindr will also ask if a member is taking Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs.
But are these questions legitimate ways to filter potential mates or could this simply further discrimination against people with HIV?
And what are the unintended consequences? For example, Daniel Reeders, who researches HIV at the Australian National University, believes it is possible that these questions could result in people who don’t indicate “HIV positive” on their profile causing a false sense of security and actually helping to spread HIV. He explained: “The danger here is if they think that they have excluded partners with HIV and then they have condom-less sex with someone who says they’re negative but who has recently been infected, that’s the highest risk sex they could ever have.”
No word yet if Pokemon Go will have similar questions.