In the setting of difficulty in finding inter-relational partners for the individuals belonging to the LGBT community, a number of mobile phone applications provided with geo-tracking system have appeared in the last years, facilitating communication between gay individuals located in the nearby geographic areas, free applications which protect the identity of the users and indicate the relative distance between users and allow the sharing of information regarding physical characteristics (age, height, weight) as well as image-type files. At present, it is worth acknowledging that all those applications addressed to the LGBT persons in search for partners are sex-specific, being polarized (applications for MSM/lesbians). Among those the most successful and renowned are Grindr, Planet Romeo (homosexuals, MSM) and, respectively, Brenda (lesbians).
In the medical literature there are recent studies that assess the STI risk-specific profile of these users, as well as the opportunities of behavioral study that these applications are presenting to the scientists, through the accessibility of interviewing gay persons and targeting them in HIV prevention programs. The present paper aims to look over the medical studies published to date which involved these types of internet type social networks, emphasizing on the potential represented by these applications and on the behavioral and risk profile of the users.
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Tampa, Mircea; Sarbu, Maria Isabela; and Georgescu, Simona Roxana
"Gay-Related Smartphone Applications: Potential and Risk- A Review of the Medical Literature in the Field,"
Journal of Mind and Medical Sciences:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/jmms/vol1/iss1/4