Sexual Health Information Seeking Online: A Mixed-Methods Study Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Young People.

Published: April 13, 2011


The current study used a mixed-methods approach to investigate the positive and negative aspects of Internet use for sexual health information among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people. A diverse community sample of 32 LGBT young people (aged 16-24 years) completed qualitative interviews focusing on how, where, and when LGBT young people use the Internet for sexual health information. Results indicate that although many participants seek facts and statistics about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV online, few conduct searches about broader aspects of sexual health. Participants reported that fear about becoming infected with STIs/HIV is a common motivator of searches and noted a number of reasons for not using online sexual health information, including stigma associated with being observed accessing LGBT or HIV information. Together, the results revealed not only significant interest in online sexual health information but also concerns about the perceived limitations of this promising method of sexual health promotion.

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