Do Internet cafs facilitate unsafe sex?

Researchers in Peru are concerned that the Internet, which is widely available in Peru through Internet cafes (cabinas pblicas), may be facilitating unsafe sex, particularly among men who have sex with men.

Dr Walter Curioso (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima) and colleagues point to recent research suggesting a possible link between Internet cafes and high risk sex.

One recent survey, for example, found that a small number of men--10 out of 1,112 in the survey--reported having had their last sexual intercourse inside a private module of an Internet cafe. Nine out of the ten had anal sex (only four used a condom), and one out of the ten had oral sex without a condom. Of those who had anal sex, four out of nine had a casual partner, three out of nine an anonymous partner, and two out of nine a stable partner. All last sexual partners were males and all had met on the Internet.

"Given the possible association between HIV/sexually transmitted infection transmission and the high level of Internet use by men who have sex with men in Peru," say the authors, "cabinas pblicas are a logical place to deliver Web-based interventions."

"Cabinas also may be an effective means for delivering low-cost prevention messages to a great number of people, especially those who are not being reached using more traditional methods."


Contact: Andrew Hyde
Public Library of Science

Page: 1

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