Use of Social Networking Applications and Sexual Interactions among Latino MSM

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Xavier Ramirez


New advances in communication technology have drastically altered
the manner in which people interact with each other. Finding
romantic and sexual partners can now be done so on the Internet
as well as on cell phone devices. This exploratory case
study focuses on Latino Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
who use GPS (Global Positioning System)-based social networking
applications on cell phones and other electronic devices.
Specifically, this project utilizes a mixed methods approach—
surveys and in-depth interviews—to examine how Latino MSM
between the ages of 18-24 living in Chicago utilize such social
networking applications to meet other MSM and negotiate condom
use. Little is known about how the use of location-based
social networking applications contributes to users’ participation
in spontaneous sexual encounters and importantly, how condom
use unfolds during sexual encounters. The findings of this study
will provide insight into how Latino MSM communicate with other
MSM about STD and HIV status and negotiate condom use.
This knowledge can be utilized to inform sexual health interventions
and programs for Latino MSM.

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