Communication technology use and mHealth acceptance among HIV-infected men who have sex with men in Peru: implications for HIV prevention and treatment

AIDS Care. 2015;27(3):273-82. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2014.963014. Epub 2014 Oct 6.


The HIV epidemic in Peru is concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM). Given that MSM have been documented as early adopters of emerging technology, we examined communication technology access and utilization, and mobile health (mHealth) acceptance among Peruvian MSM and transgender women (TGW) in order to gauge opportunities for mHealth-enabled HIV interventions. A convenience sample of 359 HIV-infected MSM and TGW recruited from three sites in Lima, Peru completed standardized assessments of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), risky sexual behavior, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence along with self-constructed measures of communication technology access and utilization, and mHealth acceptance. Most participants (86%) had daily access to any cell phone, including smartphones (30%). The most frequent communication activities were receiving and making calls, and receiving and sending text messages using cell phones. On a 5-point Likert scale, participants expressed interest in using mHealth for medication reminders (M = 3.21, SD = 1.32) and engaging in anonymous online interactions with health professionals to discuss HIV-related issues (M = 3.56, SD = 1.33). Importantly, no significant differences were found in communication technology use and mHealth acceptance among participants with AUDs, depression, and suboptimal ART adherence, all of which are associated with poor HIV treatment outcomes. Findings show support for implementing mHealth-based intervention strategies using cell phones to assess and reduce HIV-risk behaviors among HIV-infected MSM and TGW.

Keywords: HIV; Peru; communication technology; mHealth; men who have sex with men (MSM).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cell Phone*
  • Education / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Peru / epidemiology
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*
  • Text Messaging
  • Transgender Persons / statistics & numerical data*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents