Sexual Behaviors of Racial/Ethnic Minority Young Men Who Have Sex with Men.

Published: June 17, 2011

Abstract

Abstract We assessed changes in sexual behaviors from baseline to 12-month follow-up among a multisite cohort of HIV-positive racial/ethnic minority young men who have sex with men enrolled in an outreach, linkage, and retention study. In the 3 months prior to their baseline interview, more than three-quarters of participants (78.5%) reported sex with at least one man (mean: 2.3 partners). Among sexually active participants, 44.2% had one partner; 50.5% had 2-9 partners; and 5.3% had 10 or more partners. Over three-quarters (77.5%) reported engaging in sex with at least one steady partner, 43.5% with at least one casual partner, and 29.5% with both casual and steady partners. Exchanging sex for money, drugs, or other needs was reported by 13.2%. Use of condoms during oral and anal sex increased significantly from baseline to 12-month follow-up (oral sex: 29.1-42.5%, p=0.02; anal sex: 67.8-76.2%, p=0.05). While unprotected anal sex significantly decreased among individuals who were new to care (34.8-18.3%, p<0.0001), it significantly increased among individuals who were previously in care (26.7-37.5%, p=0.03). Overall, exchange sex decreased from 13.3% at baseline to 5.0% at 12 months (p=0.001). Despite reductions in unprotected sexual encounters and exchange sex through one year of follow-up, many participants continued to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. Retention within this study appeared to be associated with decreases in high-risk sexual behaviors, especially among participants who were new to care, although more research is needed. Future studies should investigate sexual network characteristics and the prevalence of behaviors such as serosorting.

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