Group sex is relatively common among gay men, and is a likely risk factor for infection with HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STI). The 5,432 participants in the 2008 Gay Community Periodic Survey in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, were asked about their participation in group sex. Nearly half (44.0%) of those who reported sex with casual male partners in the previous 6 months also reported engaging in group sex. Among other factors, using drugs odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) (OR = 1.89, CI = 1.61–2.21), being HIV-positive (OR = 1.62, CI = 1.13–2.32), and engaging in anal intercourse, both with a condom (OR = 3.03, CI = 2.46–3.73) and without a condom (OR = 5.68, CI = 4.53–7.12) were independently associated with having engaged in group sex. This study suggests that gay men who engage in group sex represent an important priority for targeted HIV and STI prevention activities and research.
Gay men Group sex HIV Sexual behaviour Condoms
The authors thank the New South Wales Health Department (Sydney), the Victorian Department of Human Services (Melbourne), and the Queensland Health Department (Brisbane). The National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, and the National Centre in HIV Social Research, are funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. We also thank the AIDS Council of New South Wales, PLWHA (NSW), the Victorian AIDS Council, PLWHA (Victoria), the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, and Queensland Positive People for collaboration with the project, and the men who have participated in the Gay Community Periodic Surveys over the years.
Conflict of Interest
All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Prestage GP, Hudson J, Down I, Bradley J, Corrigan N, Hurley M, Grulich AE, McInnes D. Gay men who engage in group sex are at increased risk of HIV infection and onward transmission. AIDS Behav. 2009;13(4):724–30. doi:10.1007/s10461-008-9460-7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Halkitis PN, Green KA, Mourgues P. Longitudinal investigation of methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men in New York City: findings from Project BUMPS. J Urban Health. 2005;82(1):18–25.Google Scholar
Crosby R, Mettey AA. Descriptive analysis of HIV risk behavior among men having sex with men attending a large sex resort. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004;37(4):1496–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Kippax S, Campbell D, Van De Ven P, Crawford J, Prestage GP, Knox S, Culpin A, Kaldor J, Kinder P. Cultures of sexual adventurism as markers of HIV seroconversion: a case control study in a cohort of Sydney gay men. AIDS Care. 1998;10:677–88.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Phang CW, Hocking J, Fairley CK, Bradshaw C, Hayes P, Chen MY. More than just anal sex: the potential for sexually transmitted infection transmission among men visiting sex-on-premises venues. Sex Transm Infect. 2008;84(3):217–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Smith G, Worth H, Kippax S. Sexual adventurism among Sydney gay men. Monograph. University of NSW, Sydney:National Centre in HIV Social Research; 2004.Google Scholar
Van de Ven P, Mao L, Prestage G. Gay Asian men in Sydney resist international trend: no change in rates of unprotected anal intercourse, 1999–2002. AIDS Educ Prev. 2004;16(1):1–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Crosby R, Di Clemente RJ, Mettey A. Correlates of recent unprotected anal sex among men having sex with men attending a large sex resort in the South. Sex Transm Dis. 2003;30(12):909–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Di franceisco W, Ostrow DG, Chmiel JS. Sexual adventurism, high-risk behaviour, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 seroconversion among the Chicago MACS-CCS Cohort, 1984 to 1992, a case–control study. Sex Transm Dis. 1996;23:453–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prestage G, Jin F, Zablotska I, Imrie J, Kaldor JM, Grulich AE. Trends in HIV prevalence among homosexual and bisexual men in Eastern Australia states. Sex Health. 2008;5(2):103–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Prestage G, Kippax S, Jin F, Frankland A, Imrie J, Grulich AE, Zablotska I. Does age affect sexual behaviour among gay men in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia? AIDS Care. 2008;21(9):1098–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van de Ven P, Campbell D, Kippax S, Knox S, Prestage GP, Crawford J, Kinder P, Cooper D. Gay men who engage repeatedly in unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners: the Sydney men and sexual health study. Int J STD AIDS. 1998;9:336–40.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar