Cybercartography of popular internet sites used by New York City men who have sex with men interested in bareback sex.

HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York 10032, USA.
AIDS Education and Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.59). 01/2007; 18(6):475-89. DOI: 10.1521/aeap.2006.18.6.475
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A systematic method was used to elicit the names of the six most popular free Internet sites used by gay men and other men who have sex with men in New York City, to meet partners for "bareback" sex. An analysis of the sites characteristics shows that men can use mainstream Internet sites, gay-specific sites, and sex-focused sites free of charge to search for bareback sex partners, selecting by location, physical attributes, sexual mode, HIV-serostatus, and other characteristics. Many individuals use these sites, producing the impression that bareback sex is not an oddity confined to just a few. The official language of the bareback sites associates bareback sex with masculinity and courage, prioritizing pleasure, freedom, choice, and intimacy over HIV-transmission prevention. The sites facilitate sexual experimentation and the expansion of bareback networks. Although some consider bareback sex to represent a failure of HIV prevention, this study suggests that harm reduction strategies may be viable within bareback networks.

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