In an effort to help prevent HIV infections and reduce stigma, the Hornet Gay Social Network has launched a feature that will help users locate HIV testing services and learn more about PrEP and other topics related to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The app has partnered with aids.gov to power the feature.
Representatives from Hornet say the feature was used over 30,000 times on its first day.
The gay community has made great progress in reducing HIV infection rates, but new trends among young people show 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 among the general population.
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. In a news release, Hornet said that in order to end the epidemic, help is needed to promote 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. Within the Hornet app, social network members can use the 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 HERE.
AIDS.gov built their own mobile app but adding this tool to Hornet puts the information right in the hands of 3.4 million 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 lobbying to have 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 Hornet launched Hornet with the KYS feature.
"We wanted to use what we do best, mobile technology, to make a difference,“ said Sean Howell, CEO of Hornet.
About Hornet Networks
Hornet Networks is gay owned, developer and distributer of the Hornet smartphone Application — a location-based mobile dating and social network that that lets you meet new friends based on criteria you set including geography, share photos quickly by sharing preloaded galleries, and keep notes about people you chat with. Founders and backers include the ranks of LGBT at Microsoft, LinkedIn and Silicon Valley venture technologists. Hornet App is available on your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android.