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History of Childhood Sexual Abuse and HIV Risk Behaviors in Homosexual and Bisexual Men

May 25, 2007

Researchers in the current study set out to examine the prevalence and frequency of childhood sexual abuse and their association with sexual risk in a sample of gay and bisexual men.

At the 1997 and 1998 Minneapolis/St. Paul Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Festivals, cross-sectional data were collected using surveys of randomly selected gay and bisexual men. The survey solicited information on demographics, sexual activity, history of childhood sexual abuse, HIV serostatus, STD history, use of sex-related drugs (cocaine, crack cocaine, Ecstasy, amyl nitrate, crystal methamphetamine and Special K), and exchanging sex for payment.

The survey results indicated that 15.5 percent of the men (134) reported childhood sexual abuse. Those who said they were abused regularly were more likely to be HIV-positive, to have exchanged sex for payment, and to be a current user of sex-related drugs. However, neither unsafe sex nor STDs were found to be associated with childhood sexual abuse.

"These findings show that more than 1 in 7 gay and bisexual men in a non-clinical, festival-based setting were victims of childhood sexual abuse and that childhood sexual abuse was associated with alarmingly high rates of men who were HIV infected and antecedent risk behaviors," the authors concluded.

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Excerpted from:
American Journal of Public Health
06.2007; Vol. 97; No. 6: P. 1107-1112; David J. Brennan, M.S.W., Wendy L. Hellerstedt, M.P.H., Ph.D.; Michael W. Ross, Ph.D.; M.P.H.; Seth L. Welles, Ph.D., Sc.D.




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