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Geosocial-Networking App Usage Patterns of Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: Survey Among Users of Grindr, A Mobile Dating App.

Abstract

In total, 604 men clicked through the advertisement, and 92 users completed the survey. One-third (38.0%) of the men reported using these mobile apps to meet new sexual partners, and one-fifth (18.5%) used them to "kill time" when bored. Men reporting currently being in a relationship were less likely to report using these mobile apps to meet other MSM to date or to find a boyfriend or romantic partner, but more likely to report using these mobile apps to meet other MSM to have sex, X (2) 24=12.1, P=.016. Respondents had current accounts on 3.11 mobile apps (SD 1.84) on average, with Grindr being the most common (100%), followed by Scruff (52.5%), and Jack'd (45.7%). Most men were most active in the late night (40.2%), and on weekdays (64.1%). Each day, on average, men reported opening these mobile apps 8.38 times (SD 8.10) and spent 1.31 hours (SD 1.15) on these mobile apps. The age respondents began using these mobile apps was associated with the age at their first instance of insertive anal sex (r80=.527, P<.001) and receptive anal sex (r76=.527, P<.001).

These findings suggest that MSM use multiple mobile apps and spend significant time on them. For these reasons, HIV prevention interventions could be delivered on these mobile apps.

The aim of this study is to describe geosocial-networking app use and recent sexual behaviors of MSM in the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area.

Geosocial-networking apps like Grindr have been used increasingly among men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet anonymous partners. These mobile dating apps employ global positioning system technology to facilitate connections with other users based on their current location. These new technologies have generated quicker and easier modes for men who have sex with men to meet potential partners based on attraction and physical proximity.

Our sample was recruited from Grindr, the most commonly used of these mobile apps among MSM, using broadcast advertising. Advertisements were displayed over the course of a 72-hour period and participants were directed to a Web-based survey.

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