: The present study was designed to assess the quality of Chinese-language Internet-based information on HIV/AIDS. Methods
: We entered the following search terms, in Chinese, into Baidu and Sogou: “HIV/AIDS”, “symptoms”, and “treatment”, and evaluated the first 50 hits of each query using the Minervation validation instrument (LIDA tool) and DISCERN instrument. Results
: Of the 900 hits identified, 85 websites were included in this study. The overall score of the LIDA tool was 63.7%; the mean score of accessibility, usability, and reliability was 82.2%, 71.5%, and 27.3%, respectively. Of the top 15 sites according to the LIDA score, the mean DISCERN score was calculated at 43.1 (95% confidence intervals (CI) = 37.7–49.5). Noncommercial websites showed higher DISCERN scores than commercial websites; whereas commercial websites were more likely to be found in the first 20 links obtained from each search engine than the noncommercial websites. Conclusions
: In general, the HIV/AIDS related Chinese-language websites have poor reliability, although their accessibility and usability are fair. In addition, the treatment information presented on Chinese-language websites is far from sufficient. There is an imperative need for professionals and specialized institutes to improve the comprehensiveness of web-based information related to HIV/AIDS.
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