Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 2035–2040 | Cite as

Depressive Symptoms and Condomless Sex Among Men Who Have Sex with Men Living with HIV: A Curvilinear Association

  • Jacklyn D. BabowitchEmail author
  • Luke D. Mitzel
  • Peter A. Vanable
  • Shannon M. Sweeney
Original Paper


Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and may contribute to risky health behaviors. However, research linking depressed mood to condomless sex in HIV-positive MSM has yielded mixed findings and has focused primarily on testing for a linear association. In the current study, we tested both linear and curvilinear models to assess the association of depressive symptoms to condomless anal sex for the most recent sexual episode in a sample of MSM living with HIV (N = 96, M age = 44, 57% Caucasian). Participants completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale and self-reported on their sexual behaviors. Findings confirmed a curvilinear association of depressive symptoms with condomless anal sex for encounters involving non-primary partner: MSM with moderate levels of depressed mood were more likely to report non-condom use compared to those with low and high levels of depressive symptoms. Future research should test whether treatment for depression can serve to enhance the impact of sexual health promotion interventions for MSM.


HIV/AIDS Men who have sex with men (MSM) Depression Condomless anal sex Sexual orientation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacklyn D. Babowitch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luke D. Mitzel
    • 1
  • Peter A. Vanable
    • 1
  • Shannon M. Sweeney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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