183156 Civic Engagement and Risky Sexual Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Andrew M. Muriuki, PhD , Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research (CABHR), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Michael Fendrich, PhD , Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Adam M. Lippert, MA , Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research (CABHR), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Background: After 26 years since the first documented case of AIDS in the United States, there seems to be resurgence of new infections. Current data suggests men who have sex with other men (MSM) are particularly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In the current study, we examine the relationship between two measures of risky sexual behavior (unprotected sex and sex with individuals of unknown HIV serostatus) and civic engagement among MSM as a possible protective factor that could slow the new infection rate.

Methods: Data were drawn from the Chicago sample of the 1997-98 Urban Men's Health Survey (UMHS) and an MSM supplement to a Chicago-area household survey conducted from 2001-2002. Comparable demographic, sexual risk behavior, and drug use measures were constructed for sexually active individuals in both samples.

Results: The findings suggest a mixed effect of civic participation on sexual risk behaviors among MSM from both datasets. Those in the UMHS sample who had recently attended community activities were less likely to have unprotected sex (OR=0.435, 95% CI 0.267, 0.707), but were more likely to have had sex with partners of unknown serostatus. This latter effect was also noted in the MSM supplement data. Other covariates significantly associated with increased sexual risk behaviors included drug use and relationship status.

Conclusions: The present study points to the need for further research on the protective benefits of civic participation, particularly with respect to sexual risk behaviors among MSM. Implications of our findings no future research are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1) To learn about the link between community participation and risky sexual behavior among MSM. 2) To explore implications for public policy initiatives for promoting safe-sex practices among MSM also will be explored.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently working on this research with others at the CABHR center.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.