Indiegogo Crowdfunds Mately App, To Share HIV/STI Results

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Friday June 10, 2016

With the high rates of HIV infections and STis among men who have sex with men, it can be difficult to know how to keep safe. Still, nearly three-quarters of MSM aged 18-39 using dating apps to hook up. Now, for a small fee and monthly membership, the app Mately will not only post your bill of health on their website, but also provide the early-detection HIV tests for you to use in the privacy of your own home.

"As a Mately member, each time you are tested, you are presented with a full report of your results. You can share these results by posting them on your member profile and granting access to other members," explained CEO and Founder Brandon Greenberg. "All members are required to display an accurate HIV status, if they wish to use the result-sharing function, and can elect to display results for additional conditions they've been tested for.

The app's not free, but it may give you a peace of mind that's priceless. For a one-time joining fee of $70 you get quick identity verification at a local pharmacy, both a standard and an early-detection HIV test, result-sharing with up to 10 Mately members, up to 20 profile links to share with non-members, and add-on tests for other STIs. Optional add-on tests include those for syphilis, hepatitis A, B and C, Herpes Type 2, gonorrhea & chlamydia combo.

Then you pay a monthly membership fee of $30, which provides you with an early-detection HIV test to identify new infections, result-sharing with 20 Mately members, 20 profile links for sharing with non-members, and add-on tests for other STIs.

Greenberg explained that people can register for Mately by going to the Mately website at www.mymately.com and creating an account. Consumers are asked how they want to receive their new member kit and monthly kit (via pharmacy or mailed to your home). Mately also offers add on tests in addition to the standard HIV early detection test.

Mately will then send a new member kit, with instructions for registering for an account online as well as a kit to confirm identity with a local pharmacist via a DNA test mouth swab. This will be sent to Mately's lab for processing, confirming the identity of a member. The app is one of the only on the market to do DNA verification.

Perspective sexual partners can access your test results when you post them on your member profile. All members are required to display an accurate HIV status, if they wish to use the result-sharing function, and can elect to display results for additional conditions they've been tested for. To share your results, you can mention to your partner that you are a Mately member and pass along your member ID to request to view each other's results. They'll know when you were last tested, because the date of your last results will appear on your profile.

Mately also plans to integrate with dating apps by letting users display Mately badges on their dating profiles, allowing users to recognize that you are willing to share your results. You can also share results with non-members by creating a time-limited link to your Mately profile that will expire after 5 minutes.

This app is targeted to "anyone who is sexually active and looking for trust in their partners!" said Greenberg. "Mately is aimed at anyone who is a user of dating apps. We see robust demand amongst communities where there is elevated STD prevalence, and consequently, a more urgent need to guard one's health. That said, we see robust demand amongst heterosexuals as well given that it is estimated the nearly 40 percent of heterosexual relationships are beginning online today."

If all this sounds like a winning combination to you, throw some cash to Greenberg's Indiegogo campaign. He's at about $4,000 of a $500,000 flexible goal, with three weeks left to go.

There are perks for those who donate, from a free posting for $15, to a membership in Mately's Founders Circle for $500, where you get a Founding Member Profile Badge, PLUS Priority Membership Slot, waived joining fee ($70 Value!), lifetime price lock (No Price Increases Ever!), Unlimited Connections for the life of your membership, and the option to post your social media information and contribution amount to the Mately website.

For more information, visit http://www.mymately.com/


Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.