HIV risk and the internet: results of the Men's INTernet Sex (MINTS) Study

AIDS Behav. 2009 Aug;13(4):746-56. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9399-8. Epub 2008 May 30.


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 > or =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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Unsafe Sex / ethnology
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult