Pew Online Health 2013 Report

Content From: Miguel Gomez, Director,, and Senior Communications Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: January 17, 20132 min read


Shanwlus N. Wonzer-Nesbit from Texas Women's UniversityEarlier this week, the Pew Internet & American Life ProjectExit Disclaimer released their 2013 Health ReportExit Disclaimer which provides us with information about how people are going online to access health information. Pew found that one in three American adults have gone online to learn more about a medical condition.

Here are some highlights from the Pew report:

  • Eight in ten online health inquiries start at a search engine (such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing).
  • Specific diseases and treatments continue to dominate people's online queries.
  • Internet users with health insurance are significantly more likely than those without health insurance to research certain topics, such as a specific disease or treatment. Other topics, such as food and drug safety, are moderately more popular among internet users with health insurance, compared with those who do not report having insurance coverage. (note: this is the first time Pew analyzed health insurance in their report).
  • Younger adults and minorities lead the way with mobile health information search.
  • One in four people seeking health information online have hit a pay wall (a site where users have to pay to access).

What does this data mean for the HIV community? Shanwlus N. Wonzer-Nesbit from Texas Women's University who is attending NAESM’s National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and Other Health Disparities this week told, "I'm going to use this data as a tool to help educate my colleagues about the importance of using new media." Shanwlus is presenting a poster at NAESM about using FaceTime for individuals to meet with case manager instead of in-person visits.

At, this data helps us plan how and where we provide HIV/AIDS information to our audiences. How can you use this information in your HIV work?