AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 900–910 | Cite as

Technology Use and Reasons to Participate in Social Networking Health Websites among People Living with HIV in the US

  • Keith J. HorvathEmail author
  • Gene P. Danilenko
  • Mark L. Williams
  • Jane Simoni
  • K. Rivet Amico
  • J. Michael Oakes
  • B. R. Simon Rosser
Original Paper


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.


Online social network Mobile phone Online survey Online focus group People living with HIV 



This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (5R34MH083549). We wish to thank the participants of this study for their time and effort.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith J. Horvath
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gene P. Danilenko
    • 2
  • Mark L. Williams
    • 3
  • Jane Simoni
    • 4
  • K. Rivet Amico
    • 5
  • J. Michael Oakes
    • 1
  • B. R. Simon Rosser
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology and Community HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Xerebral, IncMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social WorkMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Center for Health Intervention and PromotionUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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