Men who have sex with men (MSM) who meet sexual partners through the Internet are more likely to have intercourse without a condom than those who find partners offline. Publishing their findings in Sexually Transmitted Infections, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 11 observational studies including nearly 40,000 sexual encounters between MSM. The studies all had data comparing rates of condomless sex when encounters were initiated either on- or offline.

Men who met through the Internet were more likely to have sex without a condom than those who connected with partners offline. Those who used the Internet to facilitate group sex were only more likely to have condomless sex if they were HIV positive.

The researchers concluded that online behavioral interventions should be undertaken to encourage risk reduction among MSM and also to promote frequent HIV testing among those who go online seeking condomless sex.

To read the study abstract, click here.