AIDS Concern’s standpoints towards Grindr in new HIV infections in Hong Kong
AIDS Concern accepted a phone interview by China daily on 7 September 2012 (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hkedition/2012-09/11/content_15748622.htm). We were asked about the reasons for the increasing of new infection of HIV/AIDS in MSM community in Hong Kong in the 2nd Quarter 2012. It seems that AIDS Concern’s standpoints towards various social networking applications are misinterpreted, so we would like to clarify our standpoints for the captioned issue.
AIDS Concern believes that the rise of HIV epidemic is yet to reveal due to its complexity of dynamic interplaying among all the social determinants of safer sex such as social norms, social structure, social media and social policy. While internet and new social media, such as smart phone social networking application, are just one of the environmental determinants for one’s safer sex behavior. AIDS Concern did not simply conclude that any single factor such as Grindr leading to rise of HIV infection.
AIDS Concern understood that the smart phone social networking application inevitably becomes popular today. But we have to clarify that we never said in the interview the rise of the HIV epidemic is caused by the smart phone social networking application. AIDS Concern clearly pointed out that the blooming of new media may influence the communication pattern, perception on relationships, self-perception, safer sex indirectly to all vulnerable community of HIV, not just the MSM group. AIDS Concern even proactively takes the trends and uses the social media as intervention for education and prevention. The positive responses that we received prove that proactive and persistent intervention via these platforms significantly increases members’’ reflective capacity and knowledge level in making safer sex decision. We believe sexual health promotion is not only about individual responsibility and hence we undoubtedly treasure partnership with these platforms in creating a more supportive environment for MSM group to safeguard their sexual health.
To conclude, AIDS Concern believed that the causes of new infection of HIV/AIDS is complicated while smart phone social networking application changed the communication pattern of the MSM community but not contribute to the HIV/AIDS infection.
For further information and enquiries, please contact
Panda Cheung, Programme Director
Telephone: 2898 4411