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AIDS Behav. 2012 May;16(4):900-10. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0164-7.

Technology use and reasons to participate in social networking health websites among people living with HIV in the US.

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Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 55454, USA.


Online social media and mobile technologies hold potential to enhance adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), although little is known about the current use of these technologies among people living with HIV (PLWH). To address this gap in understanding, 312 PLWH (84% male, 69% White) US adults completed an online survey in 2009, from which 22 persons accepted an invitation to participate in one of two online focus groups. Results showed that 76% of participants with lower ART adherence used social networking websites/features at least once a week. Their ideal online social networking health websites included one that facilitated socializing with others (45% of participants) and ones with relevant HIV informational content (22%), although privacy was a barrier to use (26%). Texting (81%), and to a lesser extent mobile web-access (51%), was widely used among participants. Results support the potential reach of online social networking and text messaging intervention approaches.

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