June 27, 2007
The authors examined the prevalence of Internet use for meeting sexual partners (Internet partners) and HIV risk behaviors associated with such use among men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 16-24 years. A sample of 270 young MSM completed a computer-assisted survey. The investigators used bivariate X2 analyses and hierarchical logistic regression to assess factors associated with Internet-facilitated sexual encounters.
The researchers found that using the Internet to meet sexual partners was common: 48 percent of the sample reported sexual relations with a partner they met online. Of those, 53 percent used condoms consistently; 47 percent reported having sexual partners more than 4 years older than themselves. Regression analyses showed increased age, white race/ethnicity, history of unprotected anal intercourse, multiple anal intercourse partners, and engaging in sexual activity at a sex club or bathhouse were associated with meeting sexual partners on the Internet. History of unprotected anal intercourse was the only factor associated with risky sexual behaviors with Internet partners (P"Young men who have sex with men and who seek partners online also engage in other behaviors that place them at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections," the authors concluded.