An Event-Level Comparison of Risk-Related Sexual Practices Between Black and Other-Race Men Who Have Sex with Men: Condoms, Semen, Lubricant, and Rectal Douching

Published: February 1, 2013

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) living in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. An online survey of sexual behavior was completed by Black, White, Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and other-race MSM (n=11,766) ages 18–87 years. Complete condom use, semen exposure, pre-coital rectal douching (enema use), and lubricant use at last male-partnered sexual event were compared by race, controlling for relevant sociodemographic variables and stratifying by sexual position (receptive, insertive, or both). Across sexual positions, 55–62% of Black MSM reported condom use, 5–8% reported semen exposure, 18–53% reported douching, and 33–43% reported lubricant use. Reported behavioral profiles were not significantly different from other races, except that Black MSM reported greater condom use than White MSM in the insertive position. Although findings argue against disproportionate rates of risk behavior accounting for racial disparities in HIV prevalence, they nonetheless highlight a need for continued behavioral intervention.

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