From scene to screen: the challenges and opportunities of commercial digital platforms for HIV community outreach

This article draws upon data from Reaching Out Online, a collaborative research project that explored the need for, and development of, a digital health outreach service for gay, bisexual men and men who have sex with men (MSM) in London and Brighton, United Kingdom. It identifies the challenges that commercial hook-up apps and other digitally based dating and sex services pose for conventional forms of gay men’s health promotion. It then moves to explore the opportunities that these same services offer for health promotion teams. Chiefly, the discussion highlights the potential that commercial platforms offer to peer educators in terms of reaching local cohorts of men, together with the constraints placed upon this form of outreach as a result of the commercial imperatives that underpin these digital services.

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CC BY-NC 3.0