Background Technology, such as text messaging and mobile apps, has been integrated into health care. Technology preferences of underrepresented young black men who have sex with men (YB MSM) remain unknown but likely influence the use of health care services. The objective was to query the preferences of YB MSM related to technology regarding sexual health care and research. We hypothesized that YB MSM would prefer the use of social media and mobile applications (apps).
Methods We recruited YB MSM in Birmingham, Alabama to participate in a discrete choice analysis of sexual health preferences. Participants were given a link to an electronic survey, which queried their sociodemographic status and preferences for STI testing and research. We specifically queried the use of technology to notify of STI results and recruit for research in addition to privacy concerns.
Results 33 YB MSM met criteria: median age was 28, most were homosexual (n=27, 82%) and the remaining bisexual, 17 (52%) had HIV, 24 (73%) reported a prior STI, 16 (48%) live below the state federal poverty level, and 11 (33%) were uninsured. When asked, the best and worst way to be contacted with STI testing results, 21/33 (64%) preferred phone notification. Further, (52%) and (39%) said texting and email were the worst option, respectively. When asked the best way to recruit YB MSM for sexual health research, 16/33 (48%) reported social media. The most frequently recommended social media sites were Facebook (33%) and Instagram (27%). When asked their greatest concern about STI testing, 8/33 (24%) reported privacy concerns. None expressed concerns about limited access to technology.
Conclusion YB MSM in the Southern U.S. prefer social media and mobile apps for research recruitment but not for communication about personal health. When it comes to STI testing, privacy remains a significant concern for YB MSM.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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