Tip of the iceberg: Young men who have sex with men, the internet, and HIV risk

Robert Garofalo*, Amy Herrick, Brian S. Mustanski, Geri Rachel Donenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined the prevalence of Internet use for meeting sexual partners (Internet partners) and HIV risk behaviors associated with this use among young men who have sex with men (aged 16-24 years). Methods. A sample of 270 young men who have sex with men completed a computer-assisted survey. We used bivariate χ2 analyses and hierarchical logistic regression to assess factors associated with Internet-facilitated sexual encounters. Results. Using the Internet to meet sexual partners was common; 48% of our sample had sexual relations with a partner they met online. Of these, only 53% used condoms consistently, and 47% reported having sexual partners older (>4 years) than themselves. Regression analyses showed increased age, White race/ethnicity, history of unprotected anal intercourse, multiple anal intercourse partners, and engaging in sexual activity at a sex club or a bathhouse were associated with meeting sexual partners through the Internet. Only history of unprotected anal intercourse was associated with risky sexual behaviors with Internet partners (P<0.025). Conclusions. Young men who have sex with men and who seek partners online also engage in other behaviors that place them at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1117
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 6 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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