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Playing and Never Testing: Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Among App-Using MSM in Southeast Asia

Weiss, Kevin M. MPH*; Jonas, Kai J. PhD†‡; Guadamuz, Thomas E. PhD, MHS§

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: July 2017 - Volume 44 - Issue 7 - p 406–411
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000624

Abstract: Little is known about mobile application (app)-based behavior of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Thailand. A cross-sectional online assessment of app users in Bangkok found that more than a quarter have never tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and 1 in 3 never tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI). STI testing patterns and HIV testing frequency were highly associated with each other in multinomial logistic regression. In the midst of an escalating epidemic where HIV incidence among MSM is highest in Asia, apps can serve to engage those least likely to be reached by traditional methods of recruitment and outreach in Thailand.

This study aims to describe app users in Bangkok, their reported human immunodeficiency virus and sexually transmitted infection testing patterns, and demographic and behavioral characteristics associated with never testing.

From the *Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, †Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; ‡Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and §Department of Society and Health and the Center for Health Policy Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Conflict of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Correspondence: Thomas E. Guadamuz, PhD, MHS, 999 Putthamonthon 4 Road Salaya, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand. E-mail:

Received for publication August 19, 2016, and accepted March 12, 2017.

© Copyright 2017 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association