New study highlights condom use in the U.S. among gay and bisexual men ages 18 to 87

Published: February 27, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., and FAIRFAX, Va. — A new study by researchers at Indiana University and George Mason University provides a large-scale assessment of condom use during the most recent anal intercourse among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. Findings from this study highlight diversity in condom use behaviors and demonstrate varying degrees of potential risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, regardless of sexual orientation.

The study, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, tapped the largest sample of its kind in the United States to examine condom use among MSM. In collaboration with the OLB Research Institute at Online Buddies Inc., researchers were able to include data from nearly 15,000 men ages 18 to 87. According to the study’s findings, one in three acts of anal intercourse between men are condom protected in the U.S.

From a public health standpoint, say the researchers, this study demonstrates that condom use between men involves multiple factors and is influenced by a variety of contextual components, including the nature of the sexual partner, location of sexual encounter, prior intercourse with the partner and knowledge of partner’s sexual history with others.

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