Hornet investing in gay men’s health in Southeast Asia

Charlotte Maxwell

Charlotte Maxwell is a Vada Magazine staff writer.

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Dating app Hornet is adding to its ethical credentials by investing in HIV health innovation in Southeast Asia.

Hornet announced that it has recently employed a new Southeast Asia officer to act as a key figure in strengthening partnerships and building supportive networks with Southeast Asian countries. These groups will then work towards promoting the health and wellbeing of gay and bisexual men in these regions and host a number of sex-positive campaigns.

Statistics show that HIV is of a greater prevalence in men who have sex with men in these countries, in comparison to the rest of the world, even though HIV is on the decline in the general population. There is also limited awareness of PrEP, a new HIV prevention tool, among gay men.

Hornet intends to target this lack of awareness and also improve understanding of other HIV treatments and services that are available to men in Southeast Asia. Lieu Anh Vu, Hornet’s new Health and Innovation Strategist for Southeast Asia said, ‘I want to see more gay men getting tested and accessing appropriate treatment or prevention services following their test.’

This is just one of Hornet’s many goals. They also aim to provide a peer support service to gay men via their app and promote the importance of seeking health advice, locating nearby services and having regular health checks. This is essential given that gay men in South East Asian continue to face barriers to accessing treatment.

Hornet aims to improve access to services for gay men, particularly tools such as PrEP. In forming partnerships and networks across the region, it will be possible for health providers to share accessibility data and thus work towards improving service provision and policy advocacy.

Hornet sees the potential in utilising social networking apps to improve health and wellbeing amongst gay and bisexual men around the world. Their app can provide education, guidance and support to those in need of it and build stronger communities. In engaging a new Southeast Asian officer, Hornet hopes to achieve its goals by investing in the lives of gay men in the region.

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