Youth, Technology, and HIV: Recent Advances and Future Directions

November 2015 - Reports, Guidelines, and Tools

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Hightow-Weidman, L.B, Muessig, K.E, Bauermeister, J., et al. Current HIV/AIDS Reports (September 2015), e-publication ahead of print.

The authors synthesized recent observations and experimental studies on HIV, technology-based prevention, and care for young people. The analysis included 66 articles published in English between January 1, 2014 and May 1, 2015. The authors presented data in several categories including:

  • Use of technology and sexual risk. Research suggests a relationship between online social networking and sexual risk behaviors among youth, especially the use of geosocial networking apps to find sex partners among young men who have sex with men (MSM).
  • Social media. While research indicates that social media can be an effective way to reach young people, most studies to date were preliminary, limited in methodologies, and mainly centered on evaluating how youth use social media and the resulting health implications.

Other categories included: acceptability of technology for sexual health promotion, HIV technology interventions for youth outside of the US, and MSM texting. The authors concluded that technology, including mobile technologies and social media, offers powerful tools to reach, engage, and retain youth and young adults in HIV prevention and care interventions, and called for the continued development of new technology-based HIV interventions.

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