Nav: Home

Social networking app Grindr can be an effective way to distribute HIV home-testing kits

July 12, 2016

FINDINGS

A study led by researchers from UCLA found that the gay social and sexual networking app Grindr is an effective means through which to distribute HIV self-testing kits among men who have sex with men who have a high risk for contracting the virus. The study found that advertising placed on the app has a high potential to reach untested high-risk populations and reduce the spread of HIV. Men who responded to the offer to use the self-test kit had a high risk for HIV infection and were more likely to have been tested infrequently in the past.

BACKGROUND

Because men who have sex with men are major users of social networking apps, UCLA researchers sought to determine if the popular app Grindr could be an effective way to reach high-risk men who have sex with men, in order to encourage them to test themselves for HIV. Among men who have sex with men in Los Angeles, blacks and Latinos have the highest rate of HIV infection, and black men in that group are four times likelier than white men to not know they are infected.

METHOD

The researchers advertised free HIV self-test kits on Grindr for one month, targeting Los Angeles men who use the app. The ads directed users to a study website where they could choose to receive a test through the mail, through a voucher redeemable at a local pharmacy or through a code used at a vending machine. Black or Latino men who had sex with men and who were at least 18 years old were invited to take a survey two weeks after they received the test.

IMPACT

The website received 4,389 unique hits and 333 men requested the HIV test -- 247 (74 percent) who asked for the test by mail, 58 (17 percent) via a voucher and 28 (8 percent) through the vending machine. Of the 125 self-testers who subsequently took the online survey, 74 percent reported having had at least one episode of anal intercourse without a condom in the prior three months, 29 percent had last been tested for HIV more than one year ago and 9 percent had never been tested. Among the 56 participants who reported their HIV test status, two (4 percent) were newly positive.
-end-
AUTHORS The study's authors were Emily Huang, Joseph Daniels, Sean Young, Robert Marlin and Jeffrey Klausner of UCLA; and A. Lina Rosengren of Indiana University.

JOURNAL

The study was published in the journal Sexual Health.

University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

Related Hiv Articles:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.
The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).
Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.
The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.
The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.
Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.
NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.
Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.
More HIV News and HIV Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer
With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there's been a lot of debate about how much power the Supreme Court should really have. We think of the Supreme Court justices as all-powerful beings, issuing momentous rulings from on high. But they haven't always been so, you know, supreme. On this episode, we go all the way back to the case that, in a lot of ways, started it all.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.