Lessons from the viagra study: methodological challenges in recruitment of older and minority heterosexual men for research on sexual practices and risk behaviors

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2011 Jul-Aug;22(4):320-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2010.10.009. Epub 2011 Jan 8.


Although all sexually active persons may be at potential risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), there is a common misperception that older heterosexual adults are not at risk (Smith & Christakis, 2009). HIV is a continuing concern in persons ages 50 and older (Goodroad, 2003; Savasta, 2004). Therefore, research with this population is warranted. However, little literature addresses the recruitment of middle aged and older heterosexual men, particularly minority men, into research studies on sexual behaviors and practices. The purpose of this article is to discuss challenges that arose during the recruitment and data collection stages of a study on health and sexual practices of older heterosexual men using prescribed erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs, and the strategies that were used to meet these challenges. Lessons learned from this study will be discussed, as well as implications for HIV/STD researchers and clinicians.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups*
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage*
  • Purines / administration & dosage
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones / administration & dosage*


  • Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Sildenafil Citrate