Perceptions of HIV transmission risk in commercial and public sex venues.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Sexual behaviors of men who have sex with men (MSM) that occur in sexually charged venues (e.g., bathhouse, sex club, public park) are a target for research and intervention due to concerns about the role these venues may have in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, these efforts often exclude how individuals perceive HIV risk in terms of sex venue use. This paper analyzes how venue-specific perceptions of HIV transmission risk differ across venues and by onsite sexual behavior. METHOD: Cross-sectional data collected using an Internet survey completed by 139 MSM who attended at least one sex venue (e.g., bathhouse, sex club, gym/health club, public park) in the past month. RESULTS: Risk perceptions were highest for bathhouses and sex clubs, though no significant differences were detected between any of the venues. With few exceptions, men who reported not engaging in sex or low-risk behaviors (i.e., masturbation or mutual masturbation) during venue attendance perceived higher risks than those who engaged in high-risk behaviors (i.e., anal sex). Interestingly, risk perceptions of public bathrooms, parks, and video/buddy booths were lower for attendees who reported unprotected oral sex with ejaculation than men who reported safer or riskier behaviors. CONCLUSION: These findings provide important insights into how MSM perceive HIV risk in sex venues and highlight a need for expanded outreach and education in locations where sexual risk taking may be underestimated.
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ABSTRACT: As part of a larger investigation examining genetic immunity to HIV, we undertook a cross-sectional investigation of 97 HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men (MSM). Our aim was to better understand the factors to which these men attributed their HIV serostatus and to relate these attributions to sexual risk taking. Three beliefs were related to sexual risk taking with HIV-negative/status unknown casual partners: (a) medication treatment advances, (b) the low probability related to HIV transmission, and (c) a healthy immune system, capable of resisting infection. A multivariate regression model suggested that use of recreational drugs, in combination with the belief that treatment advances reduce the risk of HIV seroconversion, in part, may explain the frequency with which individuals engage in unprotected anal receptive intercourse. Our findings suggest that MSM who intentionally engage in unprotected anal sex may be influenced by perceptions that medical advances have mitigated the threat of HIV and corroborate previous studies depicting an intimate relationship between illicit drug use and sexual risk taking.AIDS Education and Prevention 11/2004; 16(5):448-58. DOI:10.1521/aeap.16.5.448.48739 · 1.59 Impact Factor
Sexually Transmitted Infections 05/2001; 77(2):84-92. DOI:10.1136/sti.77.2.84 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The current study investigated a subgroup of 112 men who have sex with men who use the Internet in search of partners for sex venue encounters to understand what types of venues they frequent and whether their behaviors are associated with an increased risk of HIV/STI transmission. An initial cluster analysis revealed two patterns of Internet use-low and high frequency-among these men. Although frequency of Internet use to find partners for venue encounters did not cluster with venue attendance, there was a trend among high-frequency Internet users to attend gyms, public bathrooms, and sex clubs more than low-frequency users. Furthermore, high-frequency users attended more venues, preferred venues where multiple partners can be found, and were marginally more likely to engage in unprotected anal sex across venues compared with low-frequency users. Knowing that some venue users initiate venue encounters on the Internet may be useful in targeting appropriate HIV/STI interventions.American journal of men's health 06/2011; 6(1):18-27. DOI:10.1177/1557988311407906 · 1.15 Impact Factor