AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 646–654 | Cite as

Nested Event-Level Case–Control Study of Drug Use and Sexual Outcomes in Multipartner Encounters Reported by Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • G. J. Melendez-TorresEmail author
  • Ford Hickson
  • David Reid
  • Peter Weatherburn
  • Chris Bonell
Original Paper


Previous event-level analyses have often, but not always, found significant associations between drug use and sexual risk behaviour in men who have sex with men (MSM), but these analyses have rarely considered either multipartner encounters specifically, or other sexual outcomes such as pleasure and control. Using data from an internet-based longitudinal survey of MSM, we tested the association between drug use by respondent and by partners and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), pleasure and control over sexual activity. Overall respondent substance use was significantly associated with increased odds of UAI, though not with pleasure or control. Respondent use of crystal methamphetamine was significantly associated with both increased odds of UAI and decreased odds of control over sexual activity. This analysis agrees with previous studies of dyadic encounters, and specifically suggests that the association between crystal methamphetamine and sexual risk behaviour may be mediated by loss of control.


Sexual risk behaviour Observational epidemiology Multipartner encounters Drug use Men who have sex with men 



We thank Bobby Pickering (Demographix), David Novak (Online Buddies Inc.) and all the men who took part in the Sigma Panel 2011. This work was supported by the Department of Health for England through the CHAPS programme. The survey was conducted with the approval of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Ethics Committee (approval number 5834). Approval for this specific analysis was granted by the Department of Social Policy and Intervention Research Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford.

Supplementary material

10461_2015_1127_MOESM1_ESM.docx (88 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 87 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Melendez-Torres
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ford Hickson
    • 2
  • David Reid
    • 2
  • Peter Weatherburn
    • 2
  • Chris Bonell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social Policy and InterventionUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Sigma Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Social Science Research UnitUCL Institute of Education, University College LondonLondonUK

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