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Use of the Location-Based Social Networking Application GRINDR as a Recruitment Tool in Rectal Microbicide Development Research


Mobile phone social networking applications such as GRINDR are potential tools for recruitment of men who have sex with men (MSM) for HIV prevention research. Demographics and sexual risk behaviors of men recruited through GRINDR and through traditional media were compared. GRINDR participants were younger (mean age 31 vs. 42, p < 0.0001), more White identified (44 vs. 30 %, p < 0.01), and had more sex partners in the previous 14 days (1.88 vs. 1.10, p < 0.05) than other recruits. Email responses were less successful for enrollment than phone calls (5 vs. 50 %). This approach resulted in successful recruitment of younger and more educated, White identified MSM.

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UCLA Microbicide Development Program Project 3 funded by NIH Grant IPCP U19 AI060614.

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Correspondence to Earl R. Burrell.

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Burrell, E.R., Pines, H.A., Robbie, E. et al. Use of the Location-Based Social Networking Application GRINDR as a Recruitment Tool in Rectal Microbicide Development Research. AIDS Behav 16, 1816–1820 (2012).

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  • Mobile phone
  • Social networking
  • Recruitment
  • MSM
  • HIV