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Title: Internet Derived Health Information About Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Prevention in Adolescents: A Qualitative Analysis of HIV Prevention Health Information Found Online
Authors: Darien, Kaja
Advisors: Enquist, Lynn
Department: Molecular Biology
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: Background: Adolescents and young adults comprise a large number of new HIV diagnoses, suggesting that HIV prevention methods should also aim to include this population to reduce the number of new diagnoses. Adolescents and young adults are also large consumers of technology and likely turn to internet resources for health topics they may not feel comfortable discussing with their medical providers. It is important that the information produced from these searches is educational and accurate so that informed health decisions can be made. Objective: The objectives of this study were to determine whether reliable and accurate information can be found using web search engines and virtual assistants as well as to assess the readability of the resulting information for intended audiences. Results: Google web search engine and Google Assistant produced PrEP information of higher quality than the other search engines and virtual assistants used. However, the internet derived information about PrEP for HIV prevention using web search engines and virtual assistants is only partially accurate and generally fails to provide useful information to potential users. Additionally, the resulting information generally was presented in language at an eighth-grade reading level. Methods: A large list of questions was narrowed down to 23 and posed to the following search engines:, Bing, Google, and Yahoo and the following virtual assistants: Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. The first five results from search engines and virtual assistant web references as well as virtual assistant transcripts were recorded and coded using a six-tier scale to assess the quality of information produced. The results were also entered in an online web-tool that determined the information readability using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Scale. Conclusion: Future HIV prevention methods should focus on the ease of accessing information in addition to offering information in a way that is more comprehensible for adolescents and young adults as well as other populations.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biology, 1954-2021

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