Online and offline sexual health-seeking patterns of HIV-negative men who have sex with men

J. Michael Wilkerson, Derek J. Smolenski, Keith J Horvath, Gene P. Danilenko, B. R. Simon Rosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


To inform health information targeting, we used cross-sectional data from 2577 HIV-negative MSM to identify groups of men who access similar sources. Offline, more men reported talking to a physician about HIV than about having sex with men; fewer than half attended a safer sex workshop. Online, men sought information primarily through Internet search engines, GLBT websites, or health websites. A latent class analysis identified four groups of health seekers: minimal health seekers, those who accessed online sources only, those who sought information mostly from health professionals, and those who sought information from diverse sources. Minimal health seekers, 9% of the sample, were the group of greatest concern. They engaged in unprotected anal sex with multiple partners but infrequently testing for HIV or sought sexual health information. By encouraging health seeking from diverse sources, opportunities exist to increase men's knowledge of HIV/STI prevention and, when necessary, access to medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1362-1370
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The Men’s INTernet Sex (MINTS-II) study was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS, grant number 5 R01 MH063688-05. All research was carried out with the approval of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board, study number 0405S59661.


  • Gay men
  • HIV prevention
  • Health information seeking
  • Internet
  • Latent class analysi


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