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Health Info Libr J. 2016 Dec;33(4):308-322. doi: 10.1111/hir.12152. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

HIV information needs of parents of young men who have sex with men.

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Health, Research, Informatics, and Technology Division, ICF International, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.



Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) have unique health concerns, including high rates of HIV infection. To prevent HIV, YMSM need credible information from trusted sources, specifically parents. Little is known about what health information resources parents of YMSM need to communicate with their child about HIV prevention. The primary objective of this study was to examine the proxy health information seeking behaviours of parents of YMSM and to identify information resources that parents need to communicate with their YMSM identified child about HIV prevention.


Qualitative findings were grouped into four categories: parents' current health information sources; barriers to seeking health information; parents' health information needs; and recommendations for delivery of health information for parents. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with parents of YMSM.


Parents reported consulting physicians and the Internet for HIV/AIDS information. They reported finding limited information targeted towards parents of YMSM and provided suggestions for improving the delivery of health information including training, websites and the local news.


Delivery of tailored HIV prevention information to parents may be effective in helping combat HIV among YMSM. Given that YMSM bear the greatest burden for HIV, this study highlights the need to include parents of YMSM in future interventions aimed at reducing YMSM's risk of HIV/AIDS.


health information needs; information seeking behaviour; information sources; parents; qualitative research

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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