The Internet has emerged as an important tool for the delivery of health promotion and disease prevention interventions. Our community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership developed and piloted CyBER/testing, a culturally congruent intervention designed to promote HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) within existing Internet chat rooms. Using a quasi-experimental, single-group study design, cross-sectional data were collected from chat room participants, known as "chatters," at pretest (n = 346) and posttest (n = 315). Extant profile data also were collected to describe the demographics of the online population. The intervention significantly increased self-reported HIV testing among chatters overall, increasing rates from 44.5% at pretest to nearly 60% at posttest (p < .001). Furthermore, chatters who reported having both male and female sexual partners had nearly 6 times the odds of reporting HIV testing at posttest. Findings suggest that chat room-based HIV testing intervention may increase testing among MSM who may be difficult to reach in traditional physical spaces.
- chat room
- community-based participatory research
- men who have sex with men