We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions to examine the association between the use of social media sites to find sex partners and recent diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among 13- to 24-year-old men who have sex with men and transgender women living with HIV. We used linear regression to determine the relationship between the number of STIs and the number of social media sites used to find sex partners with each type of sex act included in the analysis. Secondary analyses substituted frequency of social media site use for number of social media sites. Among 741 participants, for every 1 social media account used to find sex partners, there was a 2.53% (95% confidence interval: 0.28-5.54) increase in STIs. This association was mediated through condomless receptive anal intercourse or condomless insertive anal intercourse but not barrierless oral intercourse. Similar but attenuated associations were found when frequency of social media site use was substituted for number of social media sites. Future research should examine innovative interventions on these social media sites with respect for its users.
Keywords: condomless anal sex; men who have sex with men; sexually transmitted infection; social media; technology; youth living with HIV.