Men Who have Sex with Men Who Believe that Their State has a HIV Criminal Law Report Higher Condomless Anal Sex than Those Who are Unsure of the Law in Their State

Abstract

We assessed the effects of beliefs about state HIV criminal law on condomless anal sex (CAS < 3 months) among men who have sex with men (MSM) residing in 16 US states (n = 2013; M = 36 years old; 75 % White; 82 % HIV-negative) completing an online survey in 2010 and stratified by residency in a state with any or sex-specific HIV criminal law(s) or where a HIV-related arrest, prosecution, or sentence enhancement (APSE) had occurred. Three-quarters of MSM reported that they were unsure of the law in their state. Men who believed there was a HIV law in their state but lived in states without any or a sex-specific HIV criminal law(s) had higher probabilities of CAS compared to those who were unsure of their state’s law; men who believed there was a HIV law in their state and lived in a state where an APSE had occurred had higher probabilities of CAS compared to those who were unsure of their state’s law. Correct knowledge of state law was not associated with CAS. Findings suggest that HIV criminal laws have little or counter-productive effects on MSM’s risk behavior.

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Acknowledgments

This study was undertaken as part of the ‘‘Structural Interventions to Lower Alcohol-related STI/HIV,’’ grant number R01AA01627001, funded by the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

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Correspondence to Keith J. Horvath.

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Horvath, K.J., Meyer, C. & Rosser, B.R.S. Men Who have Sex with Men Who Believe that Their State has a HIV Criminal Law Report Higher Condomless Anal Sex than Those Who are Unsure of the Law in Their State. AIDS Behav 21, 51–58 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-016-1286-0

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Keywords

  • HIV criminal law
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Policy
  • Condomless anal sex