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JMIR Aging. 2018 Dec 10;1(2):e11723. doi: 10.2196/11723.

Mobile Technology for Healthy Aging Among Older HIV-Positive Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: Qualitative Study.

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Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Division of Prevention Science, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States.
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States.
Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, DC, United States.



People living with HIV are living longer in the United States as a result of antiretroviral therapy. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionally affected by HIV and have low rates of engagement in HIV care and treatment. Mobile technology holds promise as an intervention platform; however, little is known regarding its use among older black MSM living with HIV.


The goal of this study was to explore mobile technology use and narratives of aging with HIV among older black MSM to inform mobile health intervention development.


A total of 12 black MSM living with HIV, aged 50 years or older, completed in-person, semistructured interviews exploring the issues of aging, HIV care engagement, and mobile technology use. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative research methods.


Men appreciated having survived the AIDS epidemic, but some expressed discomfort and ambivalence toward aging. Men described various levels of engagement in HIV care and treatment; challenges included social isolation and need for support that was not focused on HIV. Almost all described using mobile technology to engage in health care, whereas some referenced important barriers and challenges to technology use.


Findings highlighted a high level of interest toward a mobile technology-based intervention targeting older black men but also identified barriers and challenges to using mobile technology for health care engagement. Mobile technology is well incorporated into older black MSM's lives and shows potential as an intervention platform for addressing aging issues to enhance engagement in HIV care and treatment.


HIV; HIV care and treatment; aging; black men who have sex with men; mHealth

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