At Hornet we take an aggressive approach to helping prevent HIV infections and reducing stigma and now our members can find where to get HIV tests near them from inside our app.
The gay community has made great progress in reducing HIV infection rates, but new trends among young people is that HIV rates are increasing once again, 132.5% from 2001-2011—a much higher increase than older gay men and a significant contrast with the drop amongst the general population. This is in part because this generation didn’t live through the AIDS crisis. (Source)
Studies show that public concern about HIV has decreased. Yet the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. exceeds 1.1 million and continues to increase. To end the epidemic, we need help promoting HIV services in ways that are far-reaching and lasting. Traditional advertising does not reach all users in need of health services.
Sophisticated geo-specific resources are powerful. Now within our app, members can use tool to find the ten closest HIV locations. The widget is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is available for free at AIDS.gov. AIDS.gov built their own mobile app but adding this tool to Hornet puts the information right in the hands of the millions of men who can use it the most. While there was not a developer kit-ready made, Hornet’s tech team uses the API to make queries and import as a JSON and display this information for users. The tool only works in the USA at the moment but Hornet is working with ministries of health overseas to expand this and is keen to see a global tool built.
Hornet members can access the tool from their favorites list. It appears in their first favorite location, emphasizing the importance Hornet has put on the campaign.
Hornet at its launch in 2011 was the first to introduce the “Know Your Status” KYS campaign to mobile social networks for gay people. In their profile, positive or recently tested guys get a KYS Badge, so that users are prompted to enroll in this purely voluntary campaign for a safer community. Once a test comes up for renewal, Hornet reminds people to get tested again, or their KYS status lapses to unknown.
These are bold efforts to build on our original commitment to safety, which started when we launched Hornet with the KYS feature. We want to use what we do best - mobile technology - to make a difference.