The use of technology to find sexual health information online among men who have sex with men in Hanoi, Vietnam, 2016

Int J STD AIDS. 2018 Apr;29(5):505-510. doi: 10.1177/0956462417738680. Epub 2017 Oct 23.


In an era where mobile phones and computers are ubiquitous, technology-based interventions to reduce HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have great potential to reach high-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM). This study aimed to examine technology usage to find sexual health information online among MSM in Hanoi, Vietnam. A cross-sectional study of 205 MSM in Hanoi was conducted from February to May 2016. Overall, 50.7% of participants reported having used a smartphone, computer, or tablet to find HIV/STI testing locations in the past year, and 75.1% reported having used such devices to find other HIV/STI information online. Unemployment (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR]: 1.13, 95%CI: 1.00-1.28) and having been tested for HIV (aPR: 1.27, 95%CI: 1.07-1.51) were significantly associated with using technology to find online sexual health information. MSM who had ever exchanged sex for money or drugs (aPR: 0.80; 95%CI: 0.68-0.94) were less likely to use technology to find sexual health information online. Technology is a promising platform for HIV/STI prevention programs among MSM, with the potential to reach different subgroups. Further efforts to develop technology-based interventions tailored to the needs of the MSM communities in Hanoi and to encourage MSM who were not currently seeking sexual health information and testing services online to do so are necessary.

Keywords: Asia; HIV; homosexual; men; prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior*
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Health
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Vietnam / epidemiology
  • Young Adult