Online Partner Seeking and Sexual Risk Among HIV+ Gay and Bisexual Men: A Dialectical Perspective
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For almost two decades, researchers have explored the relationship between online partner seeking (OPS) and HIV/STI transmission risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM), including gay- and bisexual-identified men. A dichotomy has emerged with some findings that OPS is associated with greater sexual risk behavior, and a sparser but emerging literature that men may use OPS for sexual risk reduction. This study examined the association between proportion of partners met online and sexual risk behavior in a sample of 170 HIV-positive gay- and bisexual-identified men. Participants completed assessments including psychosocial factors and a comprehensive assessment of sexual behavior, including total number of male partners, and condomless insertive and receptive anal sex with HIV-negative/unknown serostatus partners or HIV-positive male partners. Our findings support taking a dialectical stance and indicate that OPS may impact risk differently given different individual and contextual circumstances.
KeywordsSexual minority men HIV Internet Online partner seeking Sexual behavior Sexual orientation
This study was funded by an NIMH research Grant (R34MH087120). This research was also partially supported by an NIMH training Grant (T32MH074387).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflicts of Interest
Co-author Seth C. Kalichman has current research grants from both NIMH and NIDA. All other co-authors declare no conflict of interest.
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