SAN MATEO, Calif. — Earlier this year, San Mateo County Health System officials were taken to task by LGBT bloggers and activists for creating false profiles on a gay mobile dating application to expand HIV and Hepatitis C testing, though recent numbers highlighting the program’s success shows little divide within the health and science community, the San Mateo Daily Journal reports.
San Mateo County health officials set up false Grindr profiles and, when contacted, would provide information about sexually transmitted infections testing rather than the expected response. The practice came to light after the Bay Area Reporter published a March article that exposed how they were doing outreach.
“It is deceptive. It’s also patronizing,” blogged Peter Lawrence Kane of the Bold Italic. “Who wants to click on a hot dude’s profile only to find that it’s actually someone in an office who assumes you’re too irresponsible to take care of yourself and wants to give you a little talking-to about safe sex.”
San Mateo County’s health officials defend the effort to reach a community that at one time they had no access, the article said.
In many ways, health officials contend going online is a more effective way to get important information out there rather than through fliers or other outreach, the article said.