HIV health advocates reach gay men at risk on cell phone apps

images (1)From the Washington Blade

Hook-up apps on smartphones continue to be an avenue for HIV health advocates to reach gay men at risk, Bloomberg reports.

Citing surging rates of new infections in gay and bi men 24 or younger, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the CDC coordinated an online campaign last month with several dating services to promote testing. The messages, which were donated by the app companies, were seen by 19 million users and more than 30,000 clicked through for more information, Hecht said.

Hornet and Jack’d are among dating apps that have undertaken their own awareness campaigns, deploying them in regions with less public discussion about the virus that causes AIDS. Last year Hornet teamed with a local non-profit in the Philippines to send messages to 94,000 users about testing services, with links for online registration. More than 4,300 men responded, and 539 were HIV positive, said Sean Howell, founder and chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based company.

“Gay men are always on their phone, looking for other gay men,” said Howell, 34, who created Hornet after he realized how much time his friends spent online. “We have 4 million users worldwide who are at the highest risk for HIV and we have their attention.”

 

 

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