March 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm EST | by Staff reports
Fake Grindr profiles in Calif. run by health workers
Grindr, social media app, gay news, Washington Blade, profiles

Health workers have been creating fake Grindr profiles to encourage more men who have sex with men to get tested for HIV and other STDs.

SAN FRANCISCO — Health workers in California’s San Mateo County have been creating fake profiles on the online hookup application Grindr to encourage more men who have sex with men to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, the Bay Area Reporter, a gay San Francisco paper, reports.

Darryl Lampkin, prevention supervisor for the STD/HIV program at the county’s health department, told the Reporter that the efforts have enabled staff to reach far more people than they had been able to in the county, which is just south of San Francisco but includes no physical venues such as gay bars or community centers where outreach can be focused.

Lampkin, who spoke March 13 to members of San Francisco’s HIV Prevention Planning Council, said staffers don’t initiate contact with others on the site and the profiles contain minimal information. Instead, they respond when someone expresses interest in the profile.

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