Understanding the impact of smartphone applications on the sexual health of men who have sex with men and HIV prevention in Europe

Event
4 Feb 2015 - 5 Feb 2015
Stockholm
ECDC, Terence Higgins Trust

​A workshop for stakeholders who are involved in HIV prevention work with men who have sex with men (MSM) in the EU/EEA countries to discuss the role of mobile apps in HIV prevention.

​ECDC in collaboration with the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) hosted this workshop to provide an opportunity for stakeholders who are involved in HIV prevention work with men who have sex with men (MSM) in the EU/EEA countries.

The main objectives of the meeting were to share the preliminary findings of an ECDC/THT project in this field and to seek further expert input on the impact of apps on the sexual health of MSM. Discussions covered topics like information on recreational drug use and its relationship to private sex parties, MSM phone apps and experiences of using mobile apps for STI/HIV prevention among MSM.
 

The participants identified priorities for research and for action in the area of mobile apps, MSM sexual health and sexualised recreational drug use: 

  • Improve understanding of how apps are being used and the effects on sexual health, behaviour and networks.
  • Establish a platform for sharing information and experience about smart phone apps and MSM sexual health, recreational drug use and develop practical guidance on effective approaches to using apps for public health interventions.
  • Take coordinated action across Europe and in partnership with organisations in the U.S. to engage with app owners and developers and to identify what works in STI/HIV prevention and health promotion.
  • Identify ways in which apps could be used for public health, for example, testing reminders and messages about local services, and as a data source.

 
Further collaboration is planned with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug-addiction (EMCDDA) in the area of chemsex and its relationship to mobile apps and other online platforms as well as cooperation with U.S. partners on engagement with app owners and developers. In addition, an informal network will be established to continue the dialogue on digital platforms and MSM, sexual health and recreational drug use, and other ways in which it can take forward the issues raised by the project and this meeting.
 

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