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AIDS Care. 2008 Aug;20(7):820-8. doi: 10.1080/09540120701694048.

A randomized controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-based intervention in reducing HIV risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in Hong Kong.

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Centre for Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


A randomized controlled study evaluated an Internet-based HIV behavioral intervention for men who have sex with men (MSM). Hong Kong Chinese men aged >or=18 having engaged in oral or anal MSM behaviors in the last six months were randomly allocated into the intervention (n=140) and the control groups (n=140). Participants were interviewed anonymously at the baseline and after six months. Interventions included periodic HIV information dissemination, monitoring of risk behaviors and interactive feedback, online peer counseling and provision of a hotline. The control group only received some educational materials. Efficacy of the intervention was not supported as no statistically significant between-group differences in background characteristics, HIV risk behaviors and perceptions were observed both at the baseline and after the 6-month period. Effectiveness of online interventions should not be taken for granted and evidence-based approach is warranted.

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