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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Barebacking, serosorting, and HIV pessimism among urban gay/bisexual men

David Bimbi, Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College, City University of New York, 250 West 26th Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10001, (212) 206-7919, dbimbi@hunter.cuny.edu, Jeffrey T. Parsons, PhD, Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College, 250 West 26th St., Suite 300, New York, NY 10009, and Jose Nanin, EdD, CHES, Center for HIV Eduational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College and Kingsborough Community College, City Univeristy of New York, 250 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001.

Background: Barebacking (intentional unprotected sex) among gay/bisexual men has prominently emerged as a public health issue to be examined. Recent research has reported that some men may limit barebacking to HIV sero-concordant partners (serosorting). The present study sought to examine the relationship between HIV pessimism and barebacking behaviors/choices.

Methods: Brief intercept surveys were collected from an ethnically diverse sample (59.1% white) of gay/bisexual men (n=1851; age, M=38) attending community events. The instrument assessed several barebacking behaviors (e.g., partner serostatus, sexual position, HIV status disclosure) which were used to create a risk index (0-4) and three behavioral categories, a 4 item scale of attitudes about HIV infection (a= .67) and age at sexual debut with same sex partners.

Results: Almost a third of the sample was comprised of men who bareback and serosort (13.4%) and men who bareback but don't serosort (15.8%), the remainder were classified as “non-barebackers.” HIV status and race/ethnicity differences were observed in classification to the behavioral categories as well as in HIV pessimism. Univariate analyses revealed that all three groups differed from each other on the risk index (Non-barebackers, M=.03; serosorters, M=.19; non-serosorters, M=1.92), non-serosorters had been sexually active longer and were higher in HIV pessimism compared to non-barebackers and serosorters.

Conclusions: HIV pessimism and how long one has been sexually active may influence decisions to not bareback or to serosort. Clearly lowering levels of HIV pessimism among non-serosorters, HIV positive men, and men of color is warranted to combat complacency about infecting/infection with HIV.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Gay, Bisexual, And Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: 21st Century Sexual Health Issues

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA