The Cellular Generation and a New Risk Environment: Implications for Texting-Based Sexual Health Promotion Interventions among Minority Young Men Who Have Sex with Men.

Published: November 3, 2012

Abstract

African American and Latino young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are at the forefront of the U.S. HIV epidemic. As members of the "cellular generation," these youth are very likely to use text messaging; yet, relatively little research has explored use of text messaging as a tool for sexual health promotion, particularly among racial ethnic minorities who are also sexual minorities. We report on the results of ten focus groups conducted among African American and Latino YMSM, aged 18-25, regarding their current texting practices and the feasibility/acceptability of text messaging as a means of conducting sexual health promotion. Our analyses revealed four main themes around their texting behaviors, texting preferences, perceived advantages/disadvantages of texting, and the "etiquette" of texting. We consider implications of these findings for the development of texting-based sexual health promotion interventions, particularly in conjunction with other existing interventions operating in a new risk environment.

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