How do smartphone apps impact STI/HIV prevention among men who have sex with men?
The new report looks into the role of smartphone applications directed at men who have sex with men and how this affects the HIV epidemic across the EU/EEA. The effective use of such apps can contribute to the promotion and the uptake of HIV testing and other services.
This new ECDC report, produced in collaboration with the Terrence Higgins Trust, looks into the role of smartphone applications directed at men who have sex with men (MSM) and how this affects the HIV epidemic across the EU/EEA. This refers to apps both as a tool for MSM to find partners and also as a possible platform for outreach work in the field of HIV prevention and sexual health.
Smartphone apps have significant reach and therefore offer great potential for public health outreach work specifically for health promotion. There already is experience of this building up by organisations in some EU/EEA countries which are already using online and mobile platforms for STI/HIV prevention. This experience suggests that the effective use of apps can contribute to the promotion and the uptake of HIV testing and other services, especially when this is linked to specific events such as European HIV-Hepatitis testing week, utilising advertising to promote services, and providing an effective platform for community outreach.
Smartphone applications designed to facilitate MSM meeting each other, began to emerge around 2009 and their use has continued to increase. Recent research in the UK found that 76% of MSM respondents (who were not in a closed, monogamous relationship) had used online platforms to find sexual partners in the last six months.
There are many common factors across EU countries and internationally, such as the use of certain popular apps, and smartphone apps have particular importance to young MSM and are especially popular in MSM tourism. However, there remain some important local variations in usage and popularity of phone apps.
Read the full report Understanding the impact of smartphone applications on STI/HIV prevention among MSM in the EU/EEA
- Meeting report Understanding the impact of smartphone applications on MSM sexual health
- ECDC Guidance: HIV and STI prevention among men who have sex with men
- Men who have sex with men - Monitoring implementation of the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia: 2014 progress report
ECDC: around 9 million Europeans are affected by chronic hepatitis B or C
An estimated 4.7 million Europeans are living with chronic hepatitis B and almost 4 million (3.9) with chronic hepatitis C infection. However, large numbers of them are not even aware of their infection as they have not yet been tested and diagnosed. On the occasion of World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon highlights the need for Europe to scale-up coverage of testing, prevention interventions and linkage to suitable treatment services in order to achieve the target of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health issue by 2030.Read more
EMCDDA and ECDC join forces to address the challenge of hepatitis
Hepatitis and other drug-related infectious diseases will be the focus of ‘Hepatitis week’, taking place at the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon from 12–16 June 2017. The initiative will bring together some 100 specialists from: EU Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU, as well as partner agencies, civil society and professional organisations.Read more
Gaps in hepatitis testing and monitoring programmes across the EU/EEA: ECDC survey
The survey results suggest a wide variation in existing national testing policy and practice when it comes to hepatitis B and C – with overall limited monitoring of testing, diagnosis, and treatment across EU/EEA Member States. Many respondents expressed a need for Europe-wide practical guidance on how testing initiatives should be conducted, evaluated, and monitored.Read more