ABSTRACT: To characterize the population and sexual behaviors of men currently attending gay bathhouses.
Men entering a bathhouse in Portland, Oregon, were asked to complete a one-page questionnaire. Data collection ended when 1000 surveys were obtained. Questionnaires assessed demographics, self-reported HIV status, drug and alcohol use, and sexual behavior in the preceding 30 days.
The estimated response rate was 80%-90%. Of 1000 respondents, 829 (83%) reported having anal or oral sex at a bathhouse in the previous 30 days, 715 (86%) engaged in oral sex, 420 (51%) in anal sex, and 89 (11%) in high-risk (unprotected anal) sex. In multivariate analysis, characteristics associated with men reporting high-risk sex compared with men reporting other sexual activities at the bathhouse were HIV infection (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-4.0); >or= 5 sexual partners in previous 30 days (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 2.0-5.3); having anonymous sex at other sites (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.8).
Although most bathhouse patrons engaged in lower risk activities, those reporting unprotected anal sex were more likely to report HIV infection and to have multiple sexual partners. Well into the HIV epidemic, bathhouses remain venues for ongoing spread of HIV and opportunities for intervention.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 08/2002; 30(5):522-6. · 4.43 Impact Factor