Health researchers in Peru have produced a report that explores the sociological links between public internet cafes (cabinas públicas) and unsafe sex -- in particular, anonymous male/male encounters that take place inside the cafes, sometimes arranged online. Snip from the Public Library of Science announcement:
One recent survey, for example, found that a small number of men--10 out of 1,112 in the survey--reported having had their last sexual intercourse inside a private module of an Internet cafe. Nine out of the ten had anal sex (only four used a condom), and one out of the ten had oral sex without a condom. Of those who had anal sex, four out of nine had a casual partner, three out of nine an anonymous partner, and two out of nine a stable partner. All last sexual partners were males and all had met on the Internet.
"Given the possible association between HIV/sexually transmitted infection transmission and the high level of Internet use by men who have sex with men in Peru," say the authors, "cabinas públicas are a logical place to deliver Web-based interventions."
"Cabinas also may be an effective means for delivering low-cost prevention messages to a great number of people, especially those who are not being reached using more traditional methods."
Here's the summary, and here's the whole report -- really interesting stuff. Image: A typical "cabina pública" at a Peruvian 'net cafe, with private booths where people sometimes have anonymous sexual encounters. Photo: Magaly Blas. (Thanks, Cyrus Farivar)