YouTube as a source of HIV/AIDS prevention information
K. Sanches, S.M.B. Tavares
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, IESC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Background: The Internet has become one of the main sources of health information. Today, content generation is no longer limited to the healthcare professionals. A large percentage of Internet users regularly search for health-related information. In recent years Social media websites, such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Second Life have become increasingly popular, especially for teens and young adults, Users are changing from consumers of web-available information and resources to generators of information and content. This study analyzed how HIV/AIDS information was portrayed in videoclips and viewer-posted comments available on YouTube.
Methods: YouTube (www.youtube.com) was queried on February, 2010, using the search terms HIV, AIDS or SIDA and prevention to identify and download relevant videoclips. Videoclips were classified as either positively or negatively portraying HIV prevention, and viewer-posted comments were enumerated. Data analyses were conducted immediately following videoclip retrieval.
Results: A total of 146 YouTube videoclips, posted in Brazil were located, using the four search keywords combined. One quarter (25%) of the videoclips were advertising, 19,5% was related to religion. Most of then (70%) portrayed HIV prevention in a positive manner. Ten percents of the videoclips had generated at least one posted comment and 19,5% had assessment.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that there is a wide variety of information on YouTube regarding HIV/AIDS prevention. As a result, public health and medical professionals should recognize the importance of social media websites and their potential usefulness for disseminating health information and the ethical challenges associated with the content found.
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