AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 1149–1162 | Cite as

Sexual Venue Choice and Sexual Risk-Taking Among Substance-Using Men Who have Sex with Men

  • Joshua A. RusowEmail author
  • Jesse B. Fletcher
  • Cathy J. Reback
Original Paper


Commercial sex venues (CSVs) and public sex environments (PSEs) offer men who have sex with men (MSM) sexual privacy and anonymity. Sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, sexual identity, age, HIV status) are correlated with individuals’ choice of sexual venue, potentially suggesting environmental associations with both sociodemographics and sexual risk. From March 2005 through March 2012, 1298 substance-using MSM provided information on their most recent sexual encounter; iterative logit models estimated associations between sociodemographics and sexual venue, and/or whether sexual venue was associated with sexual risk-taking while controlling for sociodemographics. More than a third of participants’ most recent sexual encounters took place in either a PSE (23.0%) or a CSV (11.3%); anonymous, HIV-serodiscordant, and/or sex while on methamphetamine and/or marijuana was significantly more likely to occur in CSVs/PSEs than in a private location, even when controlling for sociodemographics. Findings demonstrate that socioenvironmental factors were associated with sexual risk-taking among high-risk, urban MSM.


Men who have sex with men (MSM) Commercial sex venues Public sex environment HIV Sexual risk 



This study was supported by the Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health, Division of HIV and STD Programs (formerly Office of AIDS Programs and Policy) contracts #H700861 and PH#001039, and the City of West Hollywood, Department of Human Services, Social Services Division. Dr. Reback acknowledges additional support from the National Institute of Mental Health (P30 MH58107).

Complaince with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable standards.

Informed consent

As the data were collected during the implementation of a service program and not a research study, no written informed consent was required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua A. Rusow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jesse B. Fletcher
    • 1
  • Cathy J. Reback
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Friends Research Institute, Inc.Los AngelesUSA
  2. 2.David Geffen School of Medicine, Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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