HIV-prevention Opportunities With GPS-based Social and Sexual Networking Applications for Men Who Have Sex With Men

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AIDS Education and Prevention

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The goal of this study was to gain insight on the sexual health needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) who use GPS-based social and sexual networking mobile applications (apps) and the future utility of app-based interventions. A health educator promoted HIV-testing resources in four popular apps used by MSM. Content analysis was used to identify salient themes that emerged from the conversations. Four major themes were identified: (1) soliciting sexual encounters, (2) relationship building, (3) HIV and STI-testing inquiries, and (4) seeking other sexual health information. The results suggest the intervention's social media-based strategy, respect for community culture, and unobtrusive approach was advantageous in establishing credibility and rapport with app users. These results highlight a need for convenient and discreet methods to access accurate sexual health information and suggest that apps provide an alternative, non-traditional venue for sexual health education in addition to HIV testing promotion.



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