Associations of unprotected anal intercourse with Grindr-met partners among Grindr-using young men who have sex with men in Los Angeles

AIDS Care. 2014;26(10):1303-8. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2014.911811. Epub 2014 Apr 22.


Grindr, a geosocial smartphone application, is a networking medium for men who have sex with men. Although three quarters of young men who have sex with men (YMSM) Grindr users report having sex with a Grindr-met partner, the correlates of risky sexual behavior with Grindr-met partners are unknown. A randomly selected sample of 18- to 24-year-old, Grindr-using YMSM completed an anonymous online questionnaire assessing patterns of Grindr use and sexual behavior with their last Grindr-met partners. Of the 146 YMSM who reported having sex with Grindr-met partners, 20% had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) at last sex with their Grindr-met partner. In the multivariable model, YMSM who used Grindr for at least one year showed naked chest/abs in their profile photo, and reported more past month Grindr-met partners were more likely to report UAI. These findings suggest that familiarity with the app was associated with YMSM's UAI with Grindr-met partners. Moreover, sexualized profile photos (i.e., naked chest/abs) may be associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors. HIV prevention interventions delivered or linked through such apps should target individuals who are longer/frequent users and who present sexualized profiles.

Keywords: Grindr; HIV/AIDS; YMSM; smartphone app; unprotected anal intercourse.

MeSH terms

  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Photography*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Partners
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult