Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 481–488 | Cite as

The Roles of Technology in Primary HIV Prevention for Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • Patrick S. Sullivan
  • Jeb Jones
  • Nishant Kishore
  • Rob Stephenson
HIV and Technology (J Simoni and K Horvath, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on HIV and Technology


Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at disproportionate risk for HIV infection globally. The past 5 years have seen considerable advances in biomedical interventions to reduce the risk of HIV infection. To be impactful in reducing HIV incidence requires the rapid and expansive scale-up of prevention. One mechanism for achieving this is technology-based tools to improve knowledge, acceptability, and coverage of interventions and services. This review provides a summary of the current gap in coverage of primary prevention services, how technology-based interventions and services can address gaps in coverage, and the current trends in the development and availability of technology-based primary prevention tools for use by MSM. Results from agent-based models of HIV epidemics of MSM suggest that 40–50 % coverage of multiple primary HIV prevention interventions and services, including biomedical interventions like preexposure prophylaxis, will be needed to reduce HIV incidence among MSM. In the USA, current levels of coverage for all interventions, except HIV testing and condom distribution, fall well short of this target. Recent findings illustrate how technology-based HIV prevention tools can be used to provide certain kinds of services at much larger scale, with marginal incremental costs. A review of mobile apps for primary HIV prevention revealed that most are designed by nonacademic, nonpublic health developers, and only a small proportion of available mobile apps specifically address MSM populations. We are unlikely to reach the required scale of HIV prevention intervention coverage for MSM unless we can leverage technologies to bring key services to broad coverage for MSM. Despite an exciting pipeline of technology-based prevention tools, there are broader challenges with funding structures and sustainability that need to be addressed to realize the full potential of this emerging public health field.


Men who have sex with men Technology HIV prevention 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Sullivan reports grants from NIH, grants and personal fees from CDC, grants from MAC AIDS Fund, and grants from Gilead Sciences outside the submitted work. Mr. Jones, Mr. Kishore, and Dr. Stephenson declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

11904_2015_293_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (216 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 216 kb)


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick S. Sullivan
    • 1
  • Jeb Jones
    • 1
  • Nishant Kishore
    • 1
  • Rob Stephenson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyEmory University Rollins School of Public HealthAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing and The Center for Sexuality and Health DisparitiesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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