Preferences for Sexual Health Smartphone App Features Among Gay and Bisexual Men
Given the popularity of geosocial networking applications (“apps”) among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM), this study sought to examine GBMSM’s willingness to use sexual health and behavior tracking features if integrated within apps they are already using to meet sexual partners. Most GBMSM (91%) recruited on a popular app reported interest in one or more sexual health app features, including features to find LGBT-friendly providers (83%), receive lab results (68%), schedule appointment reminders (67%), chat with a healthcare provider (59%), and receive medication reminder alerts (42%). Fewer GBMSM were interested in tracking and receiving feedback on their sexual behavior (35%) and substance use (24%). Our data suggest that integrating sexual health and behavior tracking features for GBMSM who use apps could be promising in engaging them in HIV prevention interventions. Further research is needed on GBMSM’s perspectives about potential barriers in using such features.
KeywordsMSM HIV prevention Sexual health Mobile technology Smartphone app
Data for this study were collected in concert with online recruitment efforts for the Keep It Up! randomized controlled trial funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA035145, PI: Mustanski). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors would like to give special thanks to Krystal Madkins and Craig Sineath for managing the advertisement campaign, Katie Andrews for survey programming and data management, and Mark Pawson and Ruben Jimenez for their contributions to the project.
This study was funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA035145, PI: Mustanski).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Ana Ventuneac, Steven A. John, Thomas H. F. Whitfield, Brian Mustanski, and Jeffrey T. Parsons declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- 1.CDC. HIV surveillance report. 2017. p. 27. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/reports/hiv-surveillance.html. Accessed 8 Dec 2017.
- 2.Hess K, Hu X, Lansky A, Mermin J, Hall H. Estimating the lifetime risk of a diagnosis of HIV infection in the United States. In: CROI 2016, , Boston, MA, 22–25 February 2016.Google Scholar
- 5.Chaffey D. Mobile marketing statistics compilation: smatinsights.com. 2016 (cited 28 Nov 2016). http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/.
- 24.CDC. HIV prevention through early detection and treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases—United States. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee for HIV and STD Prevention. MMWR. 1998;47(RR-12):1–24.Google Scholar
- 41.Rendina HJ, Ventuneac A, Mustanski B, Grov C, Parsons JT. Prospective measurement of daily health behaviors: modeling temporal patterns in missing data, sexual behavior, and substance use in an online daily diary study of gay and bisexual men. AIDS Behav. 2016;20(8):1730–43.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 42.Swendeman D, Comulada WS, Ramanathan N, Lazar M, Estrin D. Reliability and validity of daily self-monitoring by smartphone application for health-related quality-of-life, antiretroviral adherence, substance use, and sexual behaviors among people living with HIV. AIDS Behav. 2015;19(2):330–40.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 43.Gamarel K, Nelson K, Stephenson R, Santiago Rivera O, Chiaramonte D, Miller R. Anticipated HIV stigma and delays in regular HIV testing behaviors among sexually-active young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and transgender women. AIDS Behav. 2018;22(2):522–30.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 44.Underhill K, Morrow K, Colleran C, et al. A qualitative study of medical mistrust, perceived discrimination, and risk behavior disclosure to clinicians by U.S. male sex workers and other men who have sex with men: implications for biomedical HIV prevention. J Urban Health. 2015;92(4):667–86.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar