- Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes Vol. 44; No. 2: P. 235-243 (02.01.07): Mary Ann Chiasson, DrPH; Sabina Hirshfield, PhD; Robert H. Remien, PhD;Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2007View Source
Mary Ann Chiasson, DrPH;
Sabina Hirshfield, PhD;
Robert H. Remien, PhD;
Mike Humberstone, BFA;
Tom Wong, MD, MPH;
Richard J. Wolitski, PhD
Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for 51 percent of new HIV diagnoses in the United States , and there was a significant 8 percent increase in HIV/AIDS diagnoses among MSM from 2003 to 2004. Among factors cited for the increase are safer sex fatigue, HIV treatment optimism, crystal methamphetamine dependence, and easier access to sex partners through Internet hook-up sites.
The current study investigated whether MSM were more likely to report unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with partners they met through the Internet, including through hook-up sites, than with sexual partners they met off-line.
An on-line behavioral survey was administered to 6,122 consenting individuals. Analyses were limited to 1,683 US and Canadian MSM adults whose last sexual encounter included a new or casual male partner or partners within the previous three months. Prevalence and predictors for UAI were determined separately for MSM reporting more than one partner during their last sexual encounter (n=386) and those who reported just one partner (n=1,297).
Of the 1,683 MSM, 51 percent reported their last sexual encounter was with a partner they met on-line, and 23 percent reported UAI. Bivariate and multivariate analyses revealed no difference in UAI with partners met on-line vs. off-line. Among those reporting multiple partners at last intercourse, multivariate analysis showed UAI was significantly associated with being HIV-seropositive (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.87; p=0.02) in a model including demographic and venue variables, and use of erectile dysfunction and/or illicit drugs before sex. In that model, significant predictors of UAI in men reporting single partners were crystal methamphetamine use (AOR=5.67; p= 0.0001) and no college degree (AOR=1.63; p=0.01).
"MSM recruited on-line who reported a new or casual sex partner(s) in the prior 3 months are at considerable risk of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, but they are equally likely to report UAI whether partners were met on-line or off-line," concluded the authors. "The Internet may be an ideal venue for reaching high-risk MSM."
S. Alex Williams