This study assessed the feasibility of online recruitment of high-risk Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) for HIV prevention survey research and investigated the relationship between Internet use and unsafe sex. Participants (N = 1,026) were Internet-using Latino MSM living in the U.S. recruited using online banner advertisements. Respondents completed a cross-sectional, online survey in English or Spanish. Sample characteristics reflected national statistics within 5%. Nearly all (99%) reported having used the Internet to seek sex with another man. Two-thirds of respondents reported having unprotected anal sex with ≥1 man in the last year, 57% of these with multiple partners. Participants reported engaging in anal sex and unprotected anal sex with nearly twice as many men first met online versus offline, but risk proportions did not differ. Internet-based HIV prevention research is possible even with geographically-dispersed minority populations. Efficiency appears the primary risk associated with meeting partners online.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
by the National Institutes of Mental Health Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS, grant number AG63688-01, in response to a request for applications to MH-001-003 ‘‘Communications and HIV/ STD Prevention.’’ All research was carried out with the approval of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board, human subjects’ committee, study number 0102S83821. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Willo Pequegnat, project officer at NIMH, and our colleagues also funded on the ‘‘Communications and HIV/STD Prevention’’ RFA, who provided valuable assistance and consultation on numerous aspects of Internet research. The authors thank Dr. Anne Marie Weber-Main for her critical review and editing of manuscript drafts.
- HIV prevention
- Internet sex
- Men who have sex with men
- Men who use the Internet to seek sex with men