AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 688–699 | Cite as

Recruiting Drug Using Men Who Have Sex with Men in Behavioral Intervention Trials: A Comparison of Internet and Field-Based Strategies

  • Jeffrey T. Parsons
  • Andrea C. Vial
  • Tyrel J. Starks
  • Sarit A. Golub
Original Paper


Although online and field-based samples of men who have sex with men (MSM) have been compared on a variety of markers, differences in drug use have not been well examined. In addition, generalization from studies comparing recruitment methods is often limited by a focus on either HIV seropositive or seronegative MSM. We compared two New York City-based samples of MSM recruited simultaneously between July 2009 and January 2010—one sample recruited in the field (n = 2,402) and one sample recruited via the Internet (n = 694). All recruitment efforts targeted men without restriction on age or self-reported HIV status. Our results show marked differences in drug and alcohol use between online and field-based samples of MSM. Specifically, men surveyed online were significantly more likely to have tried a variety of drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy. Men recruited online were also more likely to report older age, HIV positive serostatus, and “never” using condoms. Internet-based recruitment was found to be more cost-effective in terms of recruitment yield than was field-based recruitment.


Aunque muestras de hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH) reclutados online y en la comunidad han sido comparadas en muchos aspectos, las diferencias en el uso de drogas no han sido bien examinadas. Además, la generalización de estudios que comparan distintos métodos de reclutamiento es limitada por enfocarse exclusivamente en HSH de estatus VIH-positivo o negativo. Nosotros hemos comparado dos muestras de HSH reclutados simultáneamente en la Ciudad de New York entre Julio de 2009 y Enero de 2010—una muestra reclutada en la comunidad (n = 2,402) y la otra reclutada en Internet (n = 694). Todos los esfuerzos de reclutamiento se enfocaron en hombres sin restricción de edad o estatus VIH. Nuestros resultados muestran grandes diferencias en el uso de drogas y alcohol entre muestras de HSH de la comunidad y muestras de Internet. Específicamente, los hombres encuestados online reportaron mayor uso de drogas que los hombres encuestados en la comunidad, incluyendo metamphetamina, cocaína y éxtasis. También mostraron mayor tendencia a ser mayores, a reportar estatus seropositivo, y a reportar nunca usar condones en comparación a los hombres encuestados en la comunidad. El reclutamiento online resultó más efectivo en términos de costo que el reclutamiento en la comunidad.


Recruitment MSM Internet Field Stimulants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey T. Parsons
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrea C. Vial
    • 2
  • Tyrel J. Starks
    • 2
  • Sarit A. Golub
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHunter College, Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)New YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST)Hunter College, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.CUNY School of Public Health, Hunter CollegeNew YorkUSA

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