Comparing internet-based and venue-based methods to sample MSM in the San Francisco Bay Area

AIDS Behav. 2010 Feb;14(1):218-24. doi: 10.1007/s10461-009-9521-6. Epub 2009 Jan 22.


Methods of collecting behavioral surveillance data, including Web-based methods, have recently been explored in the United States. Questions have arisen as to what extent Internet recruitment methods yield samples of MSM comparable to those obtained using venue-based recruitment methods. We compare three recruitment methods among MSM with respect to demographic and risk behaviors, one sample was obtained using time location sampling at venues in San Francisco, one using a venue based like approach on the Internet and one using direct-marketing advertisements to recruit participants. The physical venue approach was most successful in completing interviews with approached men than both Internet approaches. Respondents recruited via the three methods reported slight differences in risk behavior. Direct marketing internet recruitment can obtain large samples of MSM in a short time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Environment*
  • United States
  • Young Adult