Acceptability of Smartphone Application-Based HIV Prevention Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men

Abstract

Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are increasingly using mobile smartphone applications (“apps”), such as Grindr, to meet sex partners. A probability sample of 195 Grindr-using YMSM in Southern California were administered an anonymous online survey to assess patterns of and motivations for Grindr use in order to inform development and tailoring of smartphone-based HIV prevention for YMSM. The number one reason for using Grindr (29 %) was to meet “hook ups.” Among those participants who used both Grindr and online dating sites, a statistically significantly greater percentage used online dating sites for “hook ups” (42 %) compared to Grindr (30 %). Seventy percent of YMSM expressed a willingness to participate in a smartphone app-based HIV prevention program. Development and testing of smartphone apps for HIV prevention delivery has the potential to engage YMSM in HIV prevention programming, which can be tailored based on use patterns and motivations for use.

Resumen

Los hombres que mantienen relaciones sexuales con hombres (YMSM por las siglas en inglés de Young Men Who Have Sex with Men) están utilizando más y más aplicaciones para teléfonos inteligentes (smartphones), como Grindr, para encontrar parejas sexuales. En el Sur de California, se administró de forma anónima un sondeo en internet a una muestra de probabilidad de 195 YMSM usuarios de Grindr, para evaluar los patrones y motivaciones del uso de Grindr, con el fin de utilizar esta información para el desarrollo y personalización de prevención del VIH entre YMSM con base en teléfonos inteligentes. La principal razón para utilizar Grindr (29 %) es para buscar encuentros sexuales casuales (hook-ups). Entre los participantes que utilizan tanto Grindr como otro sitios de citas online, un mayor porcentaje estadísticamente significativo utilizó los sitios de citas online para encuentros casuales sexuales (42 %) comparado con Grindr (30 %). Un setenta porciento de los YMSM expresó su disposición para participar en programas de prevención del VIH con base en teléfonos inteligentes. El desarrollo y evaluación de aplicaciones para teléfonos inteligentes para el suministro de prevención del VIH tiene el potencial de involucrar a los YMSM en la programación de la prevención del VIH, que puede ser adaptada según los patrones y motivaciones de uso.

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Acknowledgments

Writing and revision of this manuscript was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (F31DA031648) and the National Institute of Mental Health (P30MH058107) of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, or the National Institutes of Health. The authors wish to thank Anamika Barman-Adhikari for her assistance with study design and measure selection, Adam Carranza and Alex Lee for their assistance with survey programming and data collection, Joshua Rusow for his assistance with manuscript preparation and Felipe Osorno for his assistance with Spanish translation. The authors would also like to acknowledge the insightful and practical commentary of the young men who were part of the Community Advisory Board for this research.

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Correspondence to Ian W. Holloway.

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Holloway, I.W., Rice, E., Gibbs, J. et al. Acceptability of Smartphone Application-Based HIV Prevention Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men. AIDS Behav 18, 285–296 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-013-0671-1

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Keywords

  • YMSM
  • HIV Prevention
  • Technology
  • Mobile
  • Smartphone
  • Grindr