The danger that Grindr bad boy is serving could be very real

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Dirty boy for dirty fun. He might sound just right for right now when browsing Grindr. But before you click on that thumbnail to chat him up, that guy playing a Bad Boy role for fun – or even the one serving Clean Cut realness – may actually carry a very real risk.

As if you needed something else to worry about after finding out your gay fantasy could have an Atlanta police rap sheet a mile long. A new study of Grindr users by Hunter College’s Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training reveals 10 percent who say that they have never been tested for HIV. Ever. But what’s really ruffling feathers across the country is that a full one-third of those men also say that they are telling their Grindr hookups that they’re negative anyway.

If you’ve been paying attention in the last few decades, those percentages are in line with the general population. Perhaps this study is getting more attention than others because it directly relates the act of fun anonymous hookups with the act of some guys' willful ignorance or downright dishonesty about their status. It remains a much bigger risk than meningitis at Atlanta Pride.

That’s why artist Tim McCarthy is walking around P-town passing out fake bodily fluids. Hold up. What? Yes, McCarthy’s latest art is an interactive piece passing out an intentionally disturbing message. HuffPo catches up with McCarthy, and not just because he has a great idea for a Halloween costume (video above).

A man dressed in a life-size version of your Grindr profile has been wandering around Provincetown, Mass. handing out test tubes of fake blood and semen.


Artist Tim McCarthy is engaged in a new interactive and awareness-focused project that seeks to elevate visibility among gay men about the growing prevalence of HIV among users of location-based hookup apps like Grindr.

Both his project and Grindr handle are titled "R U The 1?" -- contextualized with the tagline: "Are you the one I’ll spend a night with? The rest of my life with? Or the one who gives me HIV?"

If you’re not minimizing risk by keeping the dirty in your head when you’re in the bed, you’re part of the problem, McCarthy says. By all means, hook up and have fun if you want, but make your choices informed ones. Be safe out there.


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