AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 607–612 | Cite as

Casual Sexual Encounters Among Gay Men: Familiarity, Trust and Unprotected Anal Intercourse

  • Iryna B. Zablotska
  • Andrew E. Grulich
  • John De Wit
  • Garrett Prestage
Original Paper


Familiarity with and a history of prior sex with casual partners is associated with unprotected anal intercourse and may increase the risk of HIV transmission among gay men. Using data from the Sydney Gay Community Periodic Survey 2007, we explored the relationship between familiarity and unprotected anal intercourse with the last casual partner (UAI-LC). 51% of the men knew their last casual partner and 49% had previously had sex with him. Men were more inclined to engage in UAI-LC if they had previously had sex with this partner. HIV-negative men were more likely to have UAI-LC with a more familiar partner independent of his serostatus. Familiarity with and a previous history of sex between casual partners may result in a false sense of trust and may increase the risk of HIV transmission. HIV prevention services should address this issue and develop programs to improve men’s skills in negotiating safer sex.


HIV HIV disclosure Familiarity Unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners Condom use 



The authors would like to acknowledge the key community partners—the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA), the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) and Positive Life NSW for being instrumental in the establishment of the behavioural surveillance in Australia and being a part of the partnership in HIV response. Many thanks go to all study participants for sharing their life experiences with the research team. We are also grateful to the New South Wales State Health Department, for their financial support to the studies and committed efforts in HIV prevention. Iryna B. Zablotska contributed to formulating research issue and design of this analysis, assumed principal responsibility for data analysis and preparation of the paper. Garrett Prestage and Andrew E. Grulich contributed to study design, data collection and assisted with the interpretation of results and preparation of the paper. John de Wit contributed to the preparation of this paper. All authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper. The Gay Community Periodic Survey in NSW was funded by the New South Wales Department of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iryna B. Zablotska
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrew E. Grulich
    • 1
  • John De Wit
    • 2
  • Garrett Prestage
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical ResearchUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.National Centre in HIV Social ResearchUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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