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Contextual factors in geosocial-networking smartphone application use and engagement in condomless anal intercourse among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who use Grindr.

Abstract

Engagement in condomless receptive and insertive anal intercourse with one or more partners in the preceding 3 months was common (39.7% and 43.1% respectively) and was associated with several app-use contexts. For example, significant associations (P<0.05) were observed between alcohol and other drug use when using these apps and engagement in condomless receptive and insertive anal intercourse.

MSM (n=174) in New York City were recruited through Grindr, a geosocial-networking app popular among MSM, using broadcast advertisements asking MSM to complete an Internet-based survey about their app use and sexual behaviours. Log-binomial regression models were fit to assess the association between each of the six app-use contexts (e.g. using apps when lonely, when drinking) and engagement in condomless insertive and receptive anal intercourse with one or more partners in the past 3 months.

Given that 57.5% of respondents had engaged in condomless anal intercourse in the preceding 3 months and the associations of app-use contexts with condomless sexual behaviours, these findings suggest that reductions in substance use may lead to safer sexual practices among MSM who use apps to meet sexual partners.

Background Geosocial-networking smartphone applications (apps) have been used increasingly by men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet new sexual partners. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between contexts of app use (e.g. using apps when drinking) and condomless anal intercourse among a sample of MSM who use these apps.

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