AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 822–833 | Cite as

Barebacking among MSM Internet Users

  • Rigmor C. Berg
Original Paper


This theory-driven study explored the phenomenon barebacking among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) Internet users. Two hundred and forty men were recruited online and asked to complete a web-based survey. Forty percent of men in this geographically diverse sample reported engaging in bareback sex. Consistent with other research, findings demonstrate that compared with non-barebackers, men who engage in bareback sex are more likely to use alcohol in sexual contexts, use the Internet to meet sex partners, engage in any unsafe sex, and report higher degree of sexual sensation seeking. They are also more likely to report lower perception of safer sex social norms and lower self-efficacy for limiting HIV risk. Lack of concept discrimination between unprotected anal intercourse and barebacking suggests barebacking is a neologism that serves as a manifestation of the changing nature of sexual risk taking among some MSM. Opportunities for reducing the rate of HIV transmission among MSM are suggested.


Barebacking Internet MSM HIV AIDS Sexual behavior Risk factors 



I grateful to Drs. M. Wilson, D. M. Hayes, R. Hill, S. Olejnik, and R. Glover-Kudon at The University of Georgia and Dr. L. Laufman at Baylor College of Medicine for their intellectual contributions. I extend my appreciation to the researchers who granted permission to use their instruments, the men who pilot-tested my survey, and the many volunteers who answered my questions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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