Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category
Of the 131 quarterly infections in April to June, 65 were MSM infections and at least some of the 37 infections of so-far undetermined source were expected to fall into the same category, he said. The figure is both the highest quarterly number and ratio of MSM infections on record.
By contrast, Wong said, the trend for heterosexual infections had remained stable in recent years. “The MSM epidemic is a big challenge in HIV prevention and control,” he said, with rates many times higher than other at-risk groups.
Most infections in the MSM community result from unprotected sex. “I am not sure why but maybe some members in the (MSM) community are just ambivalent. They don’t have enough awareness or concern about the risk of infection, or they just ignore the issue,” said Wong.
In contrast to Grindr’s rapid popularity, the Department of Health’s mobile app targeting MSM has picked up few followers so far, Wong admitted.
The most effective way to tackle the epidemic, however, he said, was through safe sex education and regular HIV testing – something currently done by around 40 percent of Hong Kong’s MSM population.
“If safe sex can be taught at an early age, it is useful for future protection,” Wong said. “Interestingly, from the surveys we have done, we found that condom use when an MSM first has sex is correlated with consistent condom use in future.
“We don’t know why but this finding is quite consistent. So it would be useful if they could be taught to use condom when they have sex when they are still quite young.”
Paul Ramscar, a Hong Kong businessman and gay rights advocate who is launching a Pink Dollar smart phone app to promote gay-friendly bars, shops, nightclubs and restaurants, said it would be wrong to single out Grindr for blame in the rise in HIV cases.
“It’s a tragedy when this happens to someone but ultimately the buck stops with the individual. They need to be looking after their own health,” he said. “If they want to take the risks, if they want to play what is effectively Russian Roulette by not using a condom, then maybe there are going to be consequences.”
Yoke launched out of private beta last week; 2,500 people have signed up to use the service. When a user signs up for Yoke, they can say if they’re single or in a relationship. If they’re in a relationship, they become a matchmaker and can introduce single friends to each other. If they’re single, they can send a Yoke or Facebook message to a friend for an introduction to the second degree person.
Fishman says he and his team of four have been working to analyze Facebook data for future Yoke-like products.
“It’s easy to imagine a situation where the Facebook recommendation data we have on the back end can be generalized,” says Fishman. “You could have an app that recommends music to you, and it becomes easier to make because we’ve already done the work on the back end. Or if you’re a publisher like Huffington Post and a Facebook user stumbles across an article, they can recommend it to other like-minded people. The most obvious layer is recommending people to people, like Yoke, but you can drill down deeper.”