Access, use and perceptions regarding Internet, cell phones and PDAs as a means for health promotion for people living with HIV in Peru
Curioso, Walter H.
Kurth, Ann E.
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Background: Internet tools, cell phones, and other information and communication technologies are being used by HIV-positive people on their own initiative. Little is known about the perceptions of HIV-positive people towards these technologies in Peru. The purpose of this paper is to report on perceptions towards use of information and communication technologies as a means to support antiretroviral medication adherence and HIV transmission risk reduction. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study (in-depth interviews) among adult people living with HIV in two community-based clinics in Peru. Results: 31 HIV-positive individuals in Lima were interviewed (n = 28 men, 3 women). People living with HIV in Peru are using tools such as cell phones, and the Internet (via E-mail, chat, list-serves) to support their HIV care and to make social and sexual connections. In general, they have positive perceptions about using the Internet, cell phones and PDAs for HIV health promotion interventions. Conclusion: Health promotion interventions using information and communication technology tools among people living with HIV in resource-constrained settings may be acceptable and feasible, and can build on existing patterns of use.