Although online and field-based samples of men who have sex with men (MSM) have been compared on a variety of markers, differences in drug use have not been well examined. In addition, generalization from studies comparing recruitment methods is often limited by a focus on either HIV seropositive or seronegative MSM. We compared two New York City-based samples of MSM recruited simultaneously between July 2009 and January 2010 - one sample recruited in the field (n = 2,402) and one sample recruited via the Internet (n = 694). All recruitment efforts targeted men without restriction on age or self-reported HIV status. Our results show marked differences in drug and alcohol use between online and field-based samples of MSM. Specifically, men surveyed online were significantly more likely to have tried a variety of drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy. Men recruited online were also more likely to report older age, HIV positive serostatus, and "never" using condoms. Internet-based recruitment was found to be more cost-effective in terms of recruitment yield than was field-based recruitment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases