HIV prevention and care in the digital age

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Dec;55 Suppl 2:S94-7. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181fcb878.


Objectives: To describe the technologic advances in the digital media, including computers, mobile phones, and the Internet, that have greatly expanded opportunities to deliver evidence-based HIV education, prevention, and treatment programs.

Methods: This article examines the use of digital media in the United States and its potential role in HIV prevention and care.

Results: Although the "digital divide" is shrinking, access varies by age, race/ethnicity, and education. The Internet is an important medium for delivering universal and targeted HIV education and prevention, especially for men who have sex with men, who report going online to seek health information online and for social and sexual networking. Online and off-line behavioral interventions using digital media range from computerized multimedia interventions that take into account individual behaviors to brief untailored video interventions. Numerous Web sites facilitate access to care by providing a variety of services, including location of and linkage to HIV testing and treatment sites. HIV treatment and adherence programs that use online medical records text messaging, paging, and tablet computer-based counseling tools are also being developed.

Conclusions: HIV prevention and care programs using digital media have great potential to cost-effectively meet the complex needs of diverse and often underserved populations living with or at high risk of HIV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-HIV Agents