JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2017 10 115(10) e153 doi 10.2196/mhealth.8143
Many men who have sex with men (MSM) use apps to connect with and meet other MSM. Given that these apps are often used to arrange sexual encounters, it is possible that apps may be suitable venues for messages and initiatives related to HIV prevention such as those to increase HIV testing rates among this population.
The purpose of this study was to assess willingness to use a new app for reminders of when to be tested for HIV infection among a sample of MSM in London who use apps to arrange sexual encounters.
Broadcast advertisements targeted users of a popular social-networking app for MSM in London. Advertisements directed users to a Web-based survey of sexual behaviors and sexual health needs. Willingness to use apps for reminders of when to be tested for HIV was assessed. In addition, participants responded to items assessing recent sexual behaviors, substance use, and demographic characteristics. Exploratory analyses were undertaken to examine differences in willingness to use an app by demographic and behavioral characteristics.
Broadcast advertisements yielded a sample of 169 HIV-negative MSM. Overall, two-thirds (108/169, 63.9%) reported willingness to use an app to remind them when to be tested for HIV. There were no significant differences in willingness to use these apps based on demographic characteristics, but MSM who reported recent binge drinking and recent club drug use more frequently reported willingness to use this app compared to their nonusing counterparts.
MSM in this sample are willing to use a new app for HIV testing reminders. Given the high levels of willingness to use them, these types of apps should be developed, evaluated, and made available for this population.