Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 729–739 | Cite as

Epidemiology, Sexual Risk Behavior, and HIV Prevention Practices of Men who Have Sex with Men Using GRINDR in Los Angeles, California

  • Raphael J. LandovitzEmail author
  • Chi-Hong Tseng
  • Matthew Weissman
  • Michael Haymer
  • Brett Mendenhall
  • Kathryn Rogers
  • Rosemary Veniegas
  • Pamina M. Gorbach
  • Cathy J. Reback
  • Steven Shoptaw


Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are at alarming risk for HIV acquisition, demonstrating the highest rates of incident infection of any age-risk group. GRINDR is a global positioning service-based social networking application popular with YMSM for sexual partnering. To assess the characteristics of YMSM who use GRINDR, we conducted a computer-assisted self-interview-based survey of 375 YMSM using GRINDR in metropolitan Los Angeles, recruited using the GRINDR platform. The median age was 25 (interquartile range, 22–27) years old, 42.4 % caucasian, 6.4 % African American, 33.6 % Latino, and 14.1 % Asian/Pacific Islander. Participants reported high rates of sexual partnering and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). The majority (70 %) of those reporting unprotected anal intercourse reported low perception of HIV-acquisition risk. Of the participants, 83.1 % reported HIV testing within the past 12 months; 4.3 % had never been HIV tested. Of the participants, 4.5 % reported HIV-positive serostatus; 51.7 % indicated that they would be interested in participating in a future HIV prevention trial. Latinos were more likely than either caucasians or African Americans to endorse trial participation interest (odds ratio, 1.9; 95 % confidence interval [1.1–3.3]). HIV-positive test results were associated with increased number of anal sex partners in the past 3 months (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.53 [0.97–2.40]), inconsistent inquiry about partners’ serostatus (AOR, 3.63 [1.37–9.64]), reporting the purpose for GRINDR use including “friendship” (AOR, 0.17 [0.03–1.06), and meeting a sexual partner in a bookstore in the past 3 months (AOR, 33.84 [0.99–1152]). Men recruited via GRINDR were high risk for HIV acquisition or transmission and interested in clinical trial participation, suggesting potential for this method to be used for recruitment of YMSM to HIV prevention trials.


Sexual risk behavior HIV prevention Education Study recruitment 



This work was funded by the City of Los Angeles AIDS Coordinator’s Office, contract C-118670. R. Landovitz is additionally supported by National Institute of Drug Abuse (K23 DA026308). Additional support was provided by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (P30 MH58107). We would like to acknowledge Trista Bingham and Juli-Ann Carlos for assistance with cross-study comparisons using the LA subsets of NHBS and WHSBS, as well as helpful discussions in preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphael J. Landovitz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chi-Hong Tseng
    • 2
  • Matthew Weissman
    • 3
  • Michael Haymer
    • 3
  • Brett Mendenhall
    • 4
  • Kathryn Rogers
    • 3
  • Rosemary Veniegas
    • 5
  • Pamina M. Gorbach
    • 6
  • Cathy J. Reback
    • 7
    • 8
  • Steven Shoptaw
    • 5
  1. 1.UCLA Center for Clinical AIDS Research & Education, UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.UCLA Center for Clinical AIDS Research & Education, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment ServicesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.UCLA Department of Family Medicine, UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment ServicesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.UCLA Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.Friends Research Institute, Inc.Los AngelesUSA
  8. 8.UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment ServicesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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