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Viewing Pornography Depicting Unprotected Anal Intercourse: Are There Implications for HIV Prevention Among Men Who Have Sex with Men?

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Abstract

We used an Internet-based questionnaire to investigate whether viewing pornography depicting unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) was associated with engaging in UAI in a sample of 821 non-monogamous men who have sex with men (MSM). In the 3 months prior to interview, 77.2% viewed pornography depicting UAI, 42.6% engaged in insertive UAI, and 38.9% engaged in receptive UAI. Polytomous logistic regression of the 751 subjects who provided data on pornography viewing showed significantly elevated odds ratios for having engaged in receptive UAI, insertive UAI, and both receptive and insertive UAI associated with increasing percentage of pornography viewed that depicted UAI. We also found independently significant associations of engaging in UAI with age, use of inhalant nitrites, and HIV status. Although the data cannot establish causality, our findings indicate that viewing pornography depicting UAI and engaging in UAI are correlated. Further research is needed to determine if this observation may have utility for HIV prevention.

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Notes

  1. The complete questionnaire is available from the corresponding author.

  2. Responses to this question were used for inclusion/exclusion.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the volunteers who mentioned this phenomenon for inspiring this project, the bloggers who were kind enough to support this research and the NYU/Bellevue AIDS Clinical Trials Unit Community Advisory Board for their feedback. This work was supported in part by NYU Center for AIDS Research grant AI27742 and grant 1P01 AI057127 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. A portion of this research was presented as a poster at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference, August 23–26, 2009, Atlanta, GA. The work has not otherwise been published.

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Correspondence to Michael Marmor.

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Stein, D., Silvera, R., Hagerty, R. et al. Viewing Pornography Depicting Unprotected Anal Intercourse: Are There Implications for HIV Prevention Among Men Who Have Sex with Men?. Arch Sex Behav 41, 411–419 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9789-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9789-2

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