Efficacy of distributing HIV self-tests via Grindr

Free self-test kits were advertised among a population of high-risk MSM.
Free self-test kits were advertised among a population of high-risk MSM.

HealthDay News — The social networking app Grindr is feasible for distributing HIV self-test kits to men who have sex with men (MSM), according to a study published online recently in Sexual Health.

A. Lina Rosengren, from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues examined whether Grindr is effective for reaching high-risk MSM for HIV testing. From October 13 to November 11, 2014, free HIV self-test kits were advertised on Grindr, with 300,000 banner ads and 3 broadcast messages targeting a high-risk HIV population in Los Angeles. Black or Latino MSM, aged 18 years or older, were surveyed 2 weeks after test delivery.

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The website received 4,389 unique visitors; of the 333 test requests, the researchers found that 74% were requests for mailed tests, 17% were for vouchers, and 8% were for vending machines. Seventy-four percent of the 125 online survey participants reported at least 1 episode of condomless anal intercourse in the previous 3 months. Twenty-nine percent and 9%, respectively, had last been tested for HIV over 1 year ago and had never been tested.

"It was feasible to use Grindr to distribute HIV self-test kits," the authors write. "Users are willing to provide personal information in exchange for a free self-test and found self-tests acceptable and easy to use. HIV self-testing promotion through apps has a high potential to reach untested high-risk populations."

Reference

  1. Rosengren AL, Huang E, Daniels J, et al. Feasability of using GrindrTM to distribute HIV self-test kits to men who have sex with men in Los Angeles, Califorina. Sex Health. 2016;13(4):398-392; doi: 10.1071/SH15236
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