Perceptions of HIV-related websites among persons recently diagnosed with HIV

Cari Courtenay-Quirk, Keith J. Horvath, Helen Ding, Holly Fisher, Mary McFarlane, Rachel Kachur, Ann O'Leary, B. R.Simon Rosser, Eileen Harwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Many HIV-positive persons use the Internet to address at least some of their needs for HIV-specific information and support. The aim of this multimethod study was to understand how a diverse sample of persons who were recently diagnosed with HIV (PRDH) used the Internet after an HIV diagnosis and their perceptions of online HIV-related information and resources. HIV-positive persons (N=63) who had been diagnosed since the year 2000 were recruited primarily through HIV-related websites and HIV medical clinics. One third of participants (33%, n=21) were gay or bisexual men, 25% (n=16) were heterosexual men, 32% (n=20) were heterosexual women, and 10% (n=6) were transgender women (male to female). Semistructured interviews and brief postinterview surveys were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative findings suggested that the most appealing websites to PRDH included those that: (1) provided usable information on topics of immediate concern; (2) used accessible formats that were easy to navigate; (3) were perceived as trustworthy, and (4) provided access to diverse perspectives of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Topics that PRDH found most useful included various medical treatment-related issues, tools for coping with depression and fear, and learning how others cope with HIV. Incorporating the perspectives of HIV-positive persons into the design and content of HIV-related websites is important to enhance their appeal for this diverse and growing population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


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