Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp 464–481

HIV Sexual Risk Behavior among Black Men Who Meet Other Men on the Internet for Sex


  • Jaclyn M. White
    • The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health
    • The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health
    • Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital
    • Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public Health
  • Sari L. Reisner
    • The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health
    • Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public Health
  • Kenneth H. Mayer
    • The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health
    • Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

DOI: 10.1007/s11524-012-9701-y

Cite this article as:
White, J.M., Mimiaga, M.J., Reisner, S.L. et al. J Urban Health (2013) 90: 464. doi:10.1007/s11524-012-9701-y


Using the Internet to meet sexual partners is associated with increased HIV risk behavior, including substance use, sex with multiple or anonymous partners, and unprotected anal sex (UAS), among diverse samples of MSM, yet little is known about Internet use and HIV risk among Black MSM specifically. In 2008, a sample of 197 Black MSM completed an interviewer-administered assessment and voluntary HIV counseling and testing. One fifth of the sample (20 %) reported meeting a sexual partner via the Internet in the past 12 months. Men who met sexual partners over the Internet had significantly more male sex partners (M = 13.44, SD = 20.01) than men who did not meet partners in this manner (M = 4.11, SD = 4.14, p < 0.001) and reported significantly higher rates of UAS (p < 0.05). Adjusting for sociodemographic and other HIV-related covariates, factors significantly associated with the increased odds of engaging in at least one episode of UAS with a male partner in the past 12 months included: meeting sexual partners on the Internet, identifying as gay, and lower knowledge about HIV transmission. These findings highlight the unique HIV risk behaviors among Black MSM meeting sexual partners via the Internet and warrant tailoring of prevention activities to address the specific behaviors and social influences that may contribute to increased HIV spread among this population.


MSMInternetAfrican American/BlackHIVSexual risk

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2012