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Use of Geosocial Networking (GSN) Mobile Phone Applications to Find Men for Sex by Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in Washington, DC

Abstract

Current advances have added geosocial networking (GSN) mobile phone applications as an option for men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet other men. This is the first study to assess GSN application use and sex-seeking behaviors of MSM recruited using venue-based sampling. Among the 379 MSM in this study, 63.6 % reported using GSN applications to find men in the past year. Nearly one-quarter of MSM had sex with a man met using a GSN application in the prior year; these men were more likely to be under 35 years old and have had sex with a man met on the Internet; they were also less likely to be HIV-positive and have <5 male sex partners in the last year. GSN applications are a viable option for use in sampling and delivering interventions to young MSM who are often missed through other methods.

Resumen

Los avances actuales han añadido geosocial (AGS) teléfono móvil aplicaciones de redes como una opción para los hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH) para conocer a otros hombres. Este es el primer estudio para evaluar el uso de aplicaciones de AGS y comportamientos de búsqueda de sexo de HSH reclutaron mediante muestreo basado en lugar. Entre los HSH 379 en este estudio, 63,6 % registrados utilizando aplicaciones AGS para encontrar a hombres en el último año. Casi una cuarta parte de los HSH tuvo sexo con un hombre conocido mediante una aplicación de AGS el año previo; Estos hombres eran más propensos a ser menores de 35 años de edad y haber tenido relaciones sexuales con un hombre conocido en Internet; también eran menos propensos a ser seropositivo y tener <5 socios de sexo masculino en el último año. AGS aplicaciones son una opción viable para su uso en el muestreo y la entrega de las intervenciones para HSH jóvenes que son a menudo a través de otros métodos.

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Acknowledgments

For their assistance and expertise throughout the study, the authors acknowledge Dr. Elizabeth DiNenno, Dr. Alexa Oster, Dr. Gabriela Paz-Bailey, and Dr. Isa Miles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the WORD UP Community Advisory Board Members; and interviewers Luz Montanez, Alice Cates, Megan Condrey, Avery Barber, Cody Barnett, Ashley Rowe, Richard Teran, and Ann Vannavong. This study could not have been conducted without the enormous support of our community partners and the venue owners and managers at all the sampled locations. For their participation in and support of NHBS, the study team would like to acknowledge the participants of the study and the citizens of DC, without whom this study would not have been possible. This study was funded by the District of Columbia Department of Health (DC DOH), HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration (HAHSTA), Contract Number DCPO-2011-C-0073, funded in part by Grant Number PS000966-01, from the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All co-authors have reviewed and approved of the final draft of the paper including those from DC DOH/HAHSTA. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of DHHS/CDC and responsibility for the content rests solely with the authors.

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Correspondence to Gregory Phillips II.

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Phillips, G., Magnus, M., Kuo, I. et al. Use of Geosocial Networking (GSN) Mobile Phone Applications to Find Men for Sex by Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in Washington, DC. AIDS Behav 18, 1630–1637 (2014) doi:10.1007/s10461-014-0760-9

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Keywords

  • GSN applications
  • Social networking
  • MSM
  • UAI
  • HIV/AIDS