Grindr and other dating apps seem to be the place social decorum goes to die. But even behind the callousness that comes with Internet anonymity there is a darker, much more malignant sect of users who verbally abuse people.
Among those who are most attacked are HIV-positive users who, when being responsible and disclosing their status, can be the brunt of reactions, from instant blocks to profanity-laden tirades. The HIV Foundation of Queensland is helping to shine a spotlight on the harmful stigma HIV-positive members of the LGBTQ community face from within, by asking other people to read real Grindr conversations between HIV-positive users and other people.
What seems to have a lighthearted feel to it at the beginning quickly has the readers soberly reading on in the conversation, all visibly uncomfortable with the terrible things being said to the HIV-positive. Reactions range from a simple "nah man, can't risk it," to the cringe-worthy "What the fuck's wrong with you, why are you on here with your disease?"
"For people living with HIV, the stigma can often be more damaging than the virus," says the organization's website. "Yet so much of it comes from a lack of understanding and knowledge. This is why we all have a role to play in educating ourselves." Watch the video below, and find more information on the HIV Foundation of Queensland's website, here.