Using the internet to recruit rural MSM for HIV risk assessment: Sampling issues

Anne Bowen, Mark Williams, Keith Horvath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The Internet is an emerging research tool that may be useful for contacting and working with rural men who have sex with men (MSM). Little is known about HIV risks for rural men and Internet methodological issues are only beginning to be examined. Internet versus conventionally recruited samples have shown both similarities and differences in their demographic characteristics. In this study, rural MSM from three sizes of town were recruited by two methods: conventional (e.g. face-to-face/snowball) or Internet. After stratifying for size of city, demographic characteristics of the two groups were similar. Both groups had ready access to the Internet. Patterns of sexual risk were similar across the city sizes but varied by recruitment approach, with the Internet group presenting a somewhat higher HIV sexual risk profile. Overall, these findings suggest the Internet provides a useful and low cost approach to recruiting and assessing HIV sexual risks for rural White MSM. Further research is needed on methods for recruiting rural minority MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • MSM
  • rural Internet sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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