The Effects of Gay Sexually Explicit Media on the HIV Risk Behavior of Men Who Have Sex with Men


This study sought to study consumption patterns of gay-oriented sexually explicit media (SEM) by men who have sex with men (MSM); and to investigate a hypothesized relationship between gay SEM consumption and HIV risk behavior. Participants were 1,391 MSM living in the US, recruited online to complete a SEM consumption and sexual risk survey. Almost all (98.5 %) reported some gay SEM exposure over the last 90 days. While 41 % reported a preference to watch actors perform anal sex without condoms (termed “bareback SEM”), 17 % preferred to actors perform anal sex with condoms (termed “safer sex SEM”) and 42 % reported no preference. Overall SEM consumption was not associated with HIV risk; however participants who watched more bareback SEM reported significantly greater odds of engaging in risk behavior. The results suggest that a preference for bareback SEM is associated with engaging in risk behavior. More research to understand how MSM develop and maintain preferences in viewing SEM, and to identify new ways to use SEM in HIV prevention, is recommended.


Este estudio trató de estudiar a los hombres que practican sexo con otros hombres (HSH) y sus patrones de consumo de los medios de comunicación consistiendo en contenido sexualmente explícito con una orientación homosexual (SEM); y de investigar una relación conjeturada entre el consumo homosexual de SEM y el riesgo de VIH. Había 1,391 participantes HSH que vivían en los EE.UU., cuales fueron reclutados por Internet para rellenar una encuesta sobre su consumo de SEM y su riesgo sexual. Casi todos (98.5 %) comunicaron algo exposición a SEM en los últimos 90 días. Mientras el 41 % declaró una preferencia para ver a los actores desempeñando el sexo anal sin preservativo (se da en llamar “bareback SEM”), el 17 % prefirió ver a los actores desempeñando el sexo anal con preservativo (se da en llamar “sexo seguro SEM”) y el 42 % expresó una falta de preferencia. En general, el consumo de SEM no se relacionó con el riesgo de VIH; sin embargo, los participantes que miraron más de el “bareback SEM” informaron una probabilidad significativamente más elevada de participar en conductas de alto riesgo. Los resultados sugieren que una preferencia por bareback SEM está asociado con la participación en el comportamiento de alto riesgo. Se recomienda más estudios para entender cómo los HSH desarrollan y mantienen sus preferencias de ver el SEM, e identificar nuevas maneras de utilizar SEM para la prevención del VIH.

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Understanding Effects of Web-based Media on Virtual Populations was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health Center for Medical Health Research on AIDS, Grant number 5R01MH087231. All research was carried out with the approval of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board, study number 0906S68801.

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Correspondence to B. R. Simon Rosser.

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Rosser, B.R.S., Smolenski, D.J., Erickson, D. et al. The Effects of Gay Sexually Explicit Media on the HIV Risk Behavior of Men Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Behav 17, 1488–1498 (2013).

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  • Gay
  • Pornography
  • Cyberpornography
  • HIV prevention
  • Internet
  • Unsafe sex

Palabras claves

  • Pornografía gay/homosexual
  • Cyberpornography
  • Prevención del VIH
  • Internet
  • Relaciones sexuales sin protección