Gay Men are Less Likely to Use Condoms with Casual Sex Partners They Know ‘Well’
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Health in Men (HIM) was an open cohort study of 1,427 HIV-negative homosexual men in Sydney. The majority of respondents’ unprotected anal intercourse (UAIC) events were with partners whose HIV status they did not know. Nonetheless, with casual partners with whom they engaged in UAIC, respondents indicated that they knew ‘well’ 28.9% of the HIV-negative partners and 26.2% of HIV-positive partners, but only 7.6% of the HIV status unknown partners. Respondents were more likely to have engaged in UAIC with partners they knew well (McNemar P < 0.001). The challenge for HIV prevention is that many gay men’s decisions about condom use may be driven as much by their relationship with individual partners as their commitment to ‘safe sex’.
KeywordsGay men HIV Casual partners Familiarity Sexual behaviour Unprotected anal intercourse
The authors thank the men who participated in the Health in Men study over the years.
Funding for this study was provided by the New South Wales Health Department (Sydney), the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (Canberra), and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIAID/DAIDS: HVDDT Award N01-AI-05395).
Conflict of interest
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