Cruising Venues as a Context for HIV Risky Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex With Men

Abstract

We examined differences in sexual risk behaviors, HIV prevalence, and demographic characteristics between men who have sex with men (MSM) who visit different types of venues to meet sexual partners, and identified correlates of high-risk behaviors. A cross-sectional behavioral survey was conducted with a venue-based sample of 1011 MSM in Portugal. Overall, 36.3 % of MSM usually visit cruising venues to meet sexual partners (63.7 % only visit social gay venues). Cruising venues’ visitors reported higher HIV prevalence (14.6 % [95 % CI 11–18 %] vs. 5.5 % [95 % CI 4–7 %]). Visiting cruising venues was more likely among those older, reporting high number of male sexual partners, group sex, and unprotected anal sex with a partner whose HIV status was unknown. Cruising venues play an important role in increasing risk of HIV transmission among MSM who frequent them. Venue-focused behavioral interventions that promote healthy sexual behaviors are needed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Alkaiyat, A., Schaetti, C., Liswi, M., & Weiss, M. G. (2014). Condom use and HIV testing among men who have sex with men in Jordan. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 17, 18573.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Aynalem, G., Smith, L., Bemis, C., Taylor, M., Hawkins, K., & Kerndt, P. (2006). Commercial sex venues: A closer look at their impact on the syphilis and HIV epidemics among men who have sex with men. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 82, 439–443.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Beyrer, C., Baral, S. D., van Griensven, F., Goodreau, S. M., Chariyalertsak, S., Wirtz, A. L., & Brookmeyer, R. (2012). Global epidemiology of HIV infection in men who have sex with men. Lancet, 380, 367–377.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Binson, D., Woods, W. J., Pollack, L., Paul, J., Stall, R., & Catania, J. A. (2001). Differential HIV risk in bathhouses and public cruising areas. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 1482–1486.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Bird, J. D. P., & Voisin, D. R. (2011). A conceptual model of HIV disclosure in casual sexual encounters among men who have sex with men. Journal of Health Psychology, 16, 365–373.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Conner, B. T., Stein, J. A., & Longshore, D. (2005). Are cognitive AIDS risk-reduction models equally applicable among high- and low-risk seekers? Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 379–393.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Dias, S., & Gama, A. (2014). Community-based participatory research in public health: Potentials and challenges. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública, 35, 150–154.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Grov, C., Golub, S. A., & Parsons, J. T. (2010). HIV status differences in venues where highly sexually active gay and bisexual men meet sex partners: Results from a pilot study. AIDS Education and Prevention, 22, 496–508.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Grov, C., Hirshfield, S., Remien, R. H., Humberstone, M., & Chiasson, M. A. (2013). Exploring the venue’s role in risky sexual behavior among gay and bisexual men: An event-level analysis from a national online survey in the U.S. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 291–302.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Le Vu, S., Velter, A., Meyer, L., Peytavin, G., Guinard, J., Pillonel, J., … Semaille, C. (2012). Biomarker-based HIV incidence in a community sample of men who have sex with men in Paris, France. PloS One, 7, e39872.

  11. Magnani, R., Sabin, K., Saidel, T., & Heckathorn, D. (2005). Review of sampling hard-to-reach and hidden populations for HIV surveillance. AIDS, 19, S67–S72.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Marcus, U., Hickson, F., Weatherburn, P., & Schmidt, A. J. (2012). Prevalence of HIV among MSM in Europe: Comparison of self-reported diagnoses from a large scale internet survey and existing national estimates. BMC Public Health, 12, 978.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. Melendez-Torres, G. J., Nye, E., & Bonell, C. (2015). Is location of sex associated with sexual risk behaviour in men who have sex with men? Systematic review of within-subjects studies. AIDS and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10461-015-1093-z.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Mimiaga, M. J., Reisner, S. L., Bland, S. E., Driscoll, M. A., Cranston, K., Isenberg, D., … Mayer, K. H. (2011). Sex parties among urban MSM: An emerging culture and HIV risk environment. AIDS and Behavior, 15, 305–318.

  15. Mirandola, M., Folch Toda, C., Krampac, I., Nita, I., Stanekova, D., Stehlikova, D., … Bonavina, M. G. (2009). HIV bio-behavioural survey among men who have sex with men in Barcelona, Bratislava, Bucharest, Ljubljana, Prague and Verona, 2008–2009. Euro Surveillance, 14, 19427.

  16. Muhib, F. B., Lin, L. S., Stueve, A., Miller, R. L., Ford, W. L., Johnson, W. D., & Smith, P. J. (2001). A venue-based method for sampling hard-to-reach populations. Public Health Reports, 116, 216–222.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. O’Leary, A., Horvath, K. J., & Rosser, B. R. S. (2013). Associations between partner-venue specific personal responsibility beliefs and transmission risk behavior by HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). AIDS and Behavior, 17, 1855–1861.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. Parsons, J. T., & Halkitis, P. N. (2002). Sexual and drug-using practices of HIV-positive men who frequent public and commercial sex environments. AIDS Care, 14, 815–826.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Parsons, J. T., Severino, J., Nanin, J., Punzalan, J. C., von Sternberg, K., Missildine, W., & Frost, D. (2006). Positive, negative, unknown: Assumptions of HIV status among HIV-positive men who have sex with men. AIDS Education and Prevention, 18, 139–149.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  20. Reidy, W. J., Spielberg, F., Wood, R., Binson, D., Woods, W. J., & Goldbaum, G. M. (2009). HIV risk associated with gay bathhouses and sex clubs: Findings from 2 Seattle surveys of factors related to HIV and sexually transmitted infections. American Journal of Public Health, 99, S165–S172.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  21. Reisen, C. A., Iracheta, M. A., Zea, M. C., Bianchi, F. T., & Poppen, P. J. (2010). Sex in public and private settings among Latino MSM. AIDS Care, 22, 697–704.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. Reisner, S. L., Mimiaga, M. J., Skeer, M., Vanderwarker, R., Gaucher, M. J., O’Connor, C. A., … Safren, S. A. (2009). Differential HIV risk behavior among men who have sex with men seeking health-related mobile van services at diverse gay-specific venues. AIDS and Behavior, 13, 822–831.

  23. Rönn, M., White, P. J., Hughes, G., & Ward, H. (2014). Developing a conceptual framework of seroadaptive behaviors in HIV-diagnosed men who have sex with men. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 210, S586–S593.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  24. Tang, W., Huan, X., Mahapatra, T., Tang, S., Li, J., Yan, H., … Detels, R. (2013). Factors associated with unprotected anal intercourse among men who have sex with men: Results from a respondent driven sampling survey in Nanjing, China, 2008. AIDS and Behavior, 17, 1415–1422.

  25. UNAIDS. (2012). Global Report—UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic 2012. Geneva: Author.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Vanden Berghe, W., Nostlinger, C., Buvé, A., Beelaert, G., Fransen, K., & Laga, M. (2011). A venue-based HIV prevalence and behavioural study among men who have sex with men in Antwerp and Ghent, Flanders, Belgium, October 2009 to March 2010. Euro Surveillance, 16, 19914.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Wallerstein, N., & Duran, B. (2006). Using community-based participatory research to address health disparities. Health Promotion Practice, 7, 312–323.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Wei, C., Lim, S. H., Guadamuz, T. E., & Koe, S. (2012). HIV disclosure and sexual transmission behaviors among an Internet sample of HIV-positive men who have sex with men in Asia: Implications for prevention with positives. AIDS and Behavior, 16, 1970–1978.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. WHO. (2014). Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations. Geneva: Author.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Zhao, J., Chen, L., Cai, W.-D., Tan, J.-G., Tan, W., Zheng, C.-L., … Wang, X.-R. (2013). HIV infection and sexual behaviors among non-commercial men who have sex with men at different venues. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 801–809.

Download references

Acknowledgments

The study was partially financed by the ADIS/SIDA Program from the National Program for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS Infection. AG has a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/84259/2012). The authors would like to thank the project team members Daniel Simões, Gabriela Cohen, Inês Rego, Ricardo Fernandes, Ricardo Fuertes, Ricardo Rosa and Sara Trindade. The authors are also very grateful to all the community partners of the project. The authors thank all the participants of this study. Finally, the project team is thankful to GHTM—UID/Multi/04413/2013.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ana Gama.

Ethics declarations

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gama, A., Abecasis, A., Pingarilho, M. et al. Cruising Venues as a Context for HIV Risky Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex With Men. Arch Sex Behav 46, 1061–1068 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0707-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Risk behavior
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Cruising venues
  • Sexual orientation