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Testing for HIV and Sexually Transmissible Infections Within a Mainly Online Sample of Gay Men Who Engage in Group Sex

April 16, 2009

"Gay men who engage in group sex may be at increased risk of infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI)," the authors wrote in introducing the current report.

The Three or More Study of group sex among gay men used an anonymous, self-completed survey regarding participants' most recent experience of group sex with other men. A small number of participants underwent additional, in-depth interviews. In all, 436 men who reported having participated in group sex in the previous month were included in these analyses.

Among the study subjects, 32.5 percent reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with non-regular, mostly HIV non-serodiscordant partners at their most recent group sex encounter (GSE). Most reported other sex practices that are risk factors for STI other than HIV. More than one-third reported having been tested for HIV or other STI since their last GSE. Those who reported UAI at the GSE were more likely to have sought testing (p=0.008). Participants who reported having a doctor with whom they were able to discuss their group sex activities had received a broader range of STI tests (p=0.003).

"Sex practices that risk the transmission of STI were common within this high-risk sample, whereas awareness of risk and the need for testing was high but not universal," the authors concluded. "Frank discussion with doctors of patients' group sex behavior also enhanced decisions about adequate testing. Gay men in group sex networks are an appropriate priority for sexual health screening."

Back to other news for April 2009

Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
02.01.2009; Vol. 85: P. 70-74; G.P. Prestage, J. Hudson, F. Jin, N. Corrigan, P. Martin, A.E. Grulich, D. McInnes

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men
More on HIV Prevention Research in Gay Men


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