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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. HIV is one of the biggest infectious killers worldwide, causing 8, deaths a day in [ 1 ]. In Latin America, an estimated 1. A study in young males from socioeconomically disadvantaged populations showed that at least Most of these young men's sexual encounters with male partners One way of facilitating high-risk sexual encounters is through the Internet.
In Latin America, Internet cafes have been growing since aroundwhen competition in the telecommunications sector decreased the prices of dedicated phone lines [ 8 ]. Peru is one of the countries with the highest of Internet users in public places. By Januarythere were an estimated 10 million Internet users in Peru [ 10 ]. Cabinas are characterized by their low prices—an average of 15—30 cents US per hour—and relatively efficient connectivity [ 811 ].
Cabinas are user-friendly and even unskilled users can rent a computer and, in most cases, receive basic assistance in operating computer programs [ 8 ]. Some are open 24 hours a day [ 12 ], and it is common to find cabinas even in poor urban slums. The wide pool of potential sex partners found online, coupled with ease of travel, are factors that could increase the spread of STIs [ 1516 ], especially among MSM, for whom the Internet provides a new meeting venue for sex partners [ 17—19 ]. Recent studies show an association between very high-risk sexual behavior and meeting sex partners online [ 1920 ].
MSM may find this virtual form of sex-seeking appealing because it offers anonymity, privacy, safety, minimal cost, and easy access at any time [ 21 ]. Wong et al. The data available about this phenomenon are mainly limited to the United States [ 25—33 ] and other parts of the world such as the Netherlands [ 3435 ], the United Kingdom [ 2036—38 ], Sweden [ 39 ], and Canada [ 4041 ]. An outbreak of syphilis in MSM in San Francisco, for example, was traced to an Internet chat room where the infected men had first met [ 15 ]. In Latin America, to our knowledge, only two studies have examined the role of the Internet in facilitating sexual contacts, and both were done in Peru.
The second study, by Blas et al. The researchers received 1, completed surveys during the three months the survey was advertised. Blas, January 29, A particular feature of some cabinas Figure 1 is the availability of private modules so that clients can have sex on-site or arrange privacy for cybersex using Web cams to engage in sexual self-stimulation while online with another person. In the online survey conducted by Blas et al. Of those who responded, nine out of ten had anal sex only four used a condomand one out of 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 were met on the Internet. Cabinas also may be an effective means for delivering low-cost prevention messages to a great of people, especially those who are not being reached using more traditional methods [ 43—45 ].
In Lima, traditional MSM outreach has been done face-to-face by peers in streets, discotheques, bathhouses, and bars. A few people reported having had their last sexual intercourse inside a private module of an Internet cafe, according to our last survey personal communication, M.
It may be valuable to test the effectiveness of a prevention strategy that is based in the cabinas themselves. The Web-based interventions also have the ability to reinforce STI information obtained in clinic settings among those who seek STI testing [ 4647 ]. Such strategies have been used in the US to increase access to STI testing [ 48—50 ], and in the Netherlands to negotiate safe sex practices among single gay men and their partners [ 51 ].
While such Web-based preventions are promising, three ificant barriers remain: 1 It is unclear whether participants in Peru would use Web-based prevention interventions; 2 Some populations e. In theory, Web-based interventions can be delivered at low cost, and can be accessed by a large of participants, and they might be a good way to target an MSM community that may not easily be reachable via traditional health campaigns. Walter H.
Magaly M. Isaac E. Blas and Ann E. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. PLoS Med. Published online Feb Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer. : ude. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are properly credited.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Figure S1: Screenshot of a random chat session in Spanish found at latinchat. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Looking for Sex on the Internet The wide pool of potential sex partners found online, coupled with ease of travel, are factors that could increase the spread of STIs [ 1516 ], especially among MSM, for whom the Internet provides a new meeting venue for sex partners [ 17—19 ].
for additional data file. Figure S1 Screenshot of a random chat session in Spanish found at latinchat. Footnotes Walter H. Accessed 29 January Second generation of HIV sentinel surveillance among men who have sex with men in Peru during Abstract WePeC HIV sentinel surveillance for men who have sex with men in Peru. Abstract ThOrC HIV, syphilis and heterosexual bridging among Peruvian men who have sex with men.
Sexually transmitted disease STD prevalences from the national household-based general population survey of young urban adults in Peru [poster] Frequency of and factors associated with self-reported male male sex among heterosexually identified, socially marginalized men in Peru.
Fernandez-Maldonado AM. The diffusion and use of information and communication technologies in Lima, Peru. Journal of Urban Technology. Feb 23, Telecenters for socioeconomic and rural development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Inter-American Development Bank. Tracing a syphilis outbreak through cyberspace.
Internet use and early syphilis infection among men who have sex with men, San Francisco, California, — Differences between Internet samples and conventional samples of men who have sex with men: Implications for research and HIV interventions.
Soc Sci Med. Beliefs about cybersex and Internet-mediated sex of Latino men who have Internet sex with men: Relationships with sexual practices in cybersex and in real life. AIDS Care. Men who have met sex partners via the Internet: Prevalence, predictors, and implications for HIV prevention. Arch Sex Behav. Meta-analytic examination of online sex-seeking and sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men.
Sex Transm Dis. BMC Public Health. Internet sex-seeking le to acute HIV infection: A report of two cases. Risk factors for early syphilis among gay and bisexual men seen in an STD clinic: San Francisco, — HIV and sexually transmitted infection risk behaviors among men seeking sex with men on-line. Am J Public Health. A comparison of web- with paper-based surveys of gay and bisexual men who vacationed in a gay resort community. Correlates of Internet use to meet sex partners among men who have sex with men diagnosed with early syphilis in Los Angeles County.
A descriptive analysis of HIV risk behavior among men having sex with men attending a large sex resort. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. Internet use and early syphilis infection among men who have sex with men—San Francisco, California, — Crystal methamphetamine use predicts incident STD infection among men who have sex with men recruited online: A nested case-control study. J Med Internet Res.Ottawa cybersex chat
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