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Mobile Phone and Internet Use Mostly for Sex-Seeking and Associations With Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sample Characteristics Among Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino Men Who Have Sex With Men in 3 US Cities

Allen, Jacob E. BS; Mansergh, Gordon PhD, MA; Mimiaga, Matthew J. ScD, MPH; Holman, Jeremy PhD; Herbst, Jeffrey H. PhD

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: May 2017 - Volume 44 - Issue 5 - p 284–289
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000590
Original Studies

Background Men who have sex with men (MSM) have a relatively high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This study examines the association of self-reported STIs and use of mobile phones and/or computer-based Internet to meet sexual partners among black and Hispanic/Latino MSM in the United States.

Methods Black and Hispanic/Latino MSM (N = 853) were recruited from 3 US cities (Chicago, IL; Kansas City, MO; and Fort Lauderdale, FL) via online and community outreach. Men completed a computer-assisted, self-interview assessment on demographics, use of mobile phones and computer-based Internet for sex-seeking, sexual risk behavior, and self-reported bacterial STIs in the past year. Multivariable logistic regression was used to model independent associations of STIs and use of these technologies to meet sexual partners.

Results Twenty-three percent of the sample reported having an STI in the past year; 29% reported using a mobile phone and 28% a computer-based Internet mostly for sex-seeking; and 22% reported using both. Number of male sexual partners (past year) was associated with any STI (adjusted odds ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.06). Adjusting for human immunodeficiency virus status, number of male sexual partners (past year), and demographic variables, men who reported use of both mobile phones and computer-based Internet for sex-seeking had increased odds of reporting an STI (adjusted odds ratio, 2.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.75–3.83), as well as with separate reports of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis (P’s < 0.05).

Conclusions Enhanced community education regarding STI prevention, testing, and treatment options are necessary among this subpopulation of MSM who may benefit from messaging via Internet and mobile phone application sites.

A study of black and Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men found that use of both mobile phones and computer-based Internet mostly for sex-seeking was associated with self-reported sexually transmitted infections in the past year.

From the *Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; †Brown University, Providence, RI; and ‡Health Resources in Action, Boston, MA

Acknowledgements: The authors thank all study staff and participants for their involvement.

Ethical adherence: This study was conducted with the approval of the John Snow, Inc, IRB (Protocol Approval No. 13-001-A2). This research has not been previously published and is not under currently under consideration elsewhere.

Conflict of interest: none declared.

Funding: Supported by the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under CDC research, Contract No. 200-2012-53307.

Disclaimer: The findings, opinions, and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Correspondence: Gordon Mansergh, PhD, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329. E-mail:

Received for publication October 13, 2016, and accepted December 30, 2016.

© Copyright 2017 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association