January / February 2013
Men who seek other men for sex via mobile apps aren’t uneducated about HIV and condoms, write researchers Renato Barucco and Luis Freddy Molano in The Advocate. They surveyed 686 such men and found that 91 percent said they knew how to protect themselves from the virus. Most viewed barebacking—unprotected anal sex—as dangerous, but 46 percent did it anyway. Why? They cited impulsive sexual behavior, drug use and, most commonly, a dislike of condoms. As the researchers point out, there’s a “clear discrepancy” between HIV prevention, which focuses on education, and the real reasons why men have unsafe sex.
In China, HIV cases are rising fastest among gay men. Aids Concern spokesperson Panda Cheung Yin-mei tells China Daily that mobile apps make it easier for guys to meet and have sex—but “the real problem is that schools do not encourage homosexual sex education.”
What’s the best way to recruit high-risk gay men for HIV studies? In 2010, Los Angeles researchers were looking for guys to enroll in a rectal microbicide study; as they reported in the journal AIDS and Behavior, they found one particularly good recruitment tool: Grindr.
Search: Grindr, Renato Barucco, Luis Freddy Molano, barebacking, mobile apps, AIDS and Behavior
Scroll down to comment on this story.