The Internet as recruitment tool for HIV studies: Viable strategy for reaching at-risk Hispanic MSM in Miami?

M. Isabel Fernández, L. M. Varga, T. Perrino, J. B. Collazo, F. Subiaul, A. Rehbein, H. Torres, M. Castro, G. S. Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Although use of the Internet as a vehicle for HIV/STI research is increasing, its viability to recruit at-risk populations such as Hispanic men who have sex with men (HMSM) to participate in community-based HIV studies is in its infancy. We report on the first 171 participants enrolled in an ongoing study exploring use of the Internet to recruit Hispanic men who have sex with men (HMSM) living in Miami-Dade County, Florida to participate in community-based studies. We report our initial success with chat-room recruitment and describe the sexual and drug use practices of the initial set of participants who were recruited through the Internet. In addition, we describe the formative work conducted to develop the Internet recruitment procedures we are testing. I two months, we spent 211 hours recruiting in chat-rooms and engaged 735 chatters. One hundred and seventy-six men came to our community sites; 172 (98%) were eligible and completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview. In the previous six months, 94.7% of participants had anal sex; 48.9% did not use condoms for anal sex or used them inconsistently; and 48.5% had used club drugs. Six-month use rates for individual drugs were: poppers (31.6%), cocaine (15.8%), ecstasy (14%) and crystal methamphetamines (11.7%). Use of club drugs was significantly associated with unprotected insertive and unprotected receptive anal sex. These initial findings point to the Internet's potential as a tool for recruiting at-risk Hispanic MSM for community studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-963
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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