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vol.24 issue3Knowledge about hiv/aids and sexual practices in students of 14 to 17 years from Tacna, Perú 2004Information systems: internet, acess and use by health workers and people living with VIH/SIDA author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


ALVA, Isaac E. et al. Risks and benefits of internet use among people living with VIH/SIDA in Lima, Peru. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2007, vol.24, n.3, pp.248-253. ISSN 1726-4634.

Objective: To evaluate use of the Internet for seeking sex partners and information on HIV and/or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Materials and methods: We interviewed consecutive PLWHA attending at Vía Libre, in Lima, Peru, between May and June 2004. Results: Of 100 PLWHA, (46 men who had sex with men [MSM], 18 heterosexual men and 36 women), 59% reported using the Internet in the last 12 months. Of these, the majority (73%) accessed the Internet at a public place; 16 (27,1%) reported having gone online to search for sexual partners; and five (8,5%) reported having had sex with a partner found over the Internet. All sex seekers were men, of them a greater percentage were MSM rather than heterosexual (94% vs. 6%, p= 0,032). All five respondents who reported having had sex with a partner found online were MSM. Of those who accessed the Internet in the past year, 76% (47/59) had used it to find information on HIV/AIDS, and 39% (23/59) had used it to seek information on other STIs. Conclusions: Among PLWHA interviewed more than half reported Internet access. More than a quarter -almost exclusively MSM- had used it to search for sex partners, however, the majority had used the Internet to look for information about HIV/AIDS. These findings suggest that the Internet offers a convenient tool to engage high-risk MSM in online HIV/STI prevention.

Keywords : Internet; HIV; Sexually Transmitted Infections; Peru.

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