224518 Use of Craigslist to hook up: Age differences in sex requests, HIV disclosure, and negotiated safety among men seeking men

Monday, November 8, 2010

Aliya Buttar, MPH , School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
Tyler Peterson , School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
Andrea Esp, BS , School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
Kristen Clements-Nolle, PhD, MPH , Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
Lindsey C. Gray, MPH , School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
BACKGROUND: Men are increasingly using the internet to meet male sex partners. Despite the popularity of Craigslist among men seeking men (MSM), little is known about the nature of postings on this site. OBJECTIVE: To investigate age differences in sex requests, HIV status disclosure, and negotiated safety on Craigslist. METHODS: On Saturday, June 4, 2009, data from 1075 Craigslist MSM ads in five cities (Boise, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Reno, and Sacramento) were abstracted using a structured instrument; 91.5% of the postings included age (N=948). Chi-square analyses were used to determine differences in online postings between younger MSM (<=4 years) and older MSM (>24 years). RESULTS: Almost one quarter (21%) of ads were posted by younger MSM. There were no differences between younger and older MSM in requests for anal sex (33% vs. 36%), the immediacy of sex (26% vs. 25%), and inclusion of a sexually explicit photo (24% vs. 27%). However, younger men were less likely than older men to report their HIV status or the preferred status of a partner (4% vs. 8%, p=0.04), to report being disease/drug free or request that their partner be disease/drug free (10% vs. 18%, p=0.006), and to request safe sex (4% vs. 10%; p=0.04). CONCLUSION: There were few age differences in the nature of sex requests among MSM using Craigslist. However, younger MSM were less likely to disclose their HIV status and request safe sex in their postings. Age-specific online interventions for MSM are urgently needed.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss how the use of the internet to find sex partners may influence sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM). 2) Identify differences in the use of Craig’s List between younger and older MSM. 3) Describe why sexual risk reduction interventions targeting MSM should be age-specific and incorporate age.

Keywords: Internet, Gay Men

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a research assistant, I collaborated with my advisor and other students in creating the content analysis tool, abstracting data, entering data, and analyzing data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.