College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles


Condom use, disclosure, and risk for unprotected sex in HIV-negative midlife and older men who have sex with men.



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American Journal of Men's Health





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Sexual risk behaviors account for most HIV infections in men who have sex with men (MSM), and the risk of exposure from each sexual encounter increases with age. The focus of this study was to investigate which behaviors in midlife and older MSM influence their sexual risk/protection. Cross-sectional data were collected from a community-based sample of 802 MSM aged 40 years and older from community venues (e.g., bars) who completed an anonymous questionnaire. Data from a subset of 420 MSM who were HIV-negative (aged 40-81 years) were used to investigate which behaviors were associated with greater risk for unprotected anal sex. Regression analyses indicated that erection difficulties (odds ratio [OR] = 4.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.8-12.2), practicing safe sex with outside partners but not with one's primary partner (OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.3-0.94), and recreational drug use (OR = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.3-5.1) were associated with higher risk for unprotected receptive anal intercourse. Younger age (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.9- 0.9), not telling partners about HIV status (OR = 3.2; 95% CI = 1.5-6.5), finding partners in backrooms/sex clubs (OR = 2.8; 95% CI = 1.1- 6.8), and erection difficulties (OR = 10.3; 95% CI = 2.8-37.8) were associated with higher risk for unprotected insertive anal intercourse. These data indicate there may be certain factors specific to older MSM that influence their sexual risk taking behaviors. Programs may be more effective if they are tailored for older cohorts of MSM and address interpersonal communication, erection problems, and substance use to reduce health risks and promote healthier lifestyles.


Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy


Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Attitude to Health, Condoms, Confidence Intervals, Homosexuality, Male, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Risk Factors, Risk-Taking, Sexual Partners, Unsafe Sex