Gay Apps for Seeking Sex Partners in China: Implications for MSM Sexual Health

AIDS Behav. 2015 Jun;19(6):941-6. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0994-6.


Anti-gay stigma and harsh local environments in many low and middle-income countries (LMIC) encourage men who have sex with men (MSM) partner-seeking mobile application (gay app) use. To investigate the sexual risk profiles of gay app users and guide future HIV prevention programs, we conducted a cross-sectional online survey among 1,342 MSM in China examining associations between gay app use and sexual behaviors, including HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing. Compared to non-app users, app users were more likely to be younger, better educated, "out" about their sexual orientation, and single. They were also more likely to report multiple recent sex partners and HIV testing, but there was no difference in condomless sex between the two groups. Future research among MSM in LMIC is needed to characterize gay app use and explore its potential for future public health interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Social Networking*