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Surveillance Among Men Who have Sex with Men in the United States: A Comparison of Web-Based and Venue-Based Samples

Abstract

Although men who have sex with men (MSM) recruited through web-based and venue-based sampling methods have been compared, no large web-based and venue-based samples using similar survey instruments have been examined in the U.S. This study describes the differences in sociodemographic characteristics and risk behaviors between the 2012 Web-based HIV Behavioral Survey (n = 3221) and 2011 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (n = 9256). Compared with participants in the venue-based sample, participants in the web-based sample were older, less likely to be black or Hispanic, more likely to have higher socioeconomic status, and more likely to have anal sex without a condom with their last male sex partner. Web-based participants were less likely to have multiple male sex partners, ever injected drugs, been tested for HIV in the past 12 months, and received free condoms than venue-based participants. The method for sampling MSM into a behavioral survey should consider the sub-population of MSM to be reached.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported in part by an appointment to the Research Participation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and CDC. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Funding

The study was funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant Number: RFA-PS11-001 and 200-2010-37417).

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Correspondence to Yen-Tyng Chen.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participates were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Chen, YT., Bowles, K., An, Q. et al. Surveillance Among Men Who have Sex with Men in the United States: A Comparison of Web-Based and Venue-Based Samples. AIDS Behav 22, 2104–2112 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1837-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1837-z

Keywords

  • MSM
  • Internet
  • HIV
  • Behavioral surveillance
  • Sampling