However, a study of adult MSM found non—HIV-positive gay men were no more likely to meet high-risk sexual partners online rather than offline. In cases where sexual activity is prolonged there is also a concern that participants living with HIV may forget to take ART medication, or that those who are HIV negative will miss the hour window to be eligible for receiving post-exposure prophylaxis PEP after suspected exposure to HIV. These factors increase the risk that they may engage — willingly or not — in behaviours that put them at risk of HIV, such as frequent unprotected sex and the sharing of needles and syringes to inject drugs. Although initiating sexual contact through the Internet is certainly not a new phenomenon, our data are among the first to identify the Internet as an important venue for forming sexual networks among young MSM, an understudied subpopulation of youths at risk for acquiring HIV and other STIs. These can cause men who have sex with men to delay, interrupt or avoid treatment altogether.
The fact that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is so high in many countries means that members of this group have an increased chance of being exposed to the virus, due to mainly having sex within this group.
Tip of the Iceberg: Young Men Who Have Sex With Men, the Internet, and HIV Risk