209240 HIV testing among U.S. men: How does sexual orientation matter?

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:10 PM

William L. Jeffries IV, MA, MPH, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background: HIV testing is important for preventing the spread of HIV. However, non-heterosexual men's high HIV prevalences warrant examinations of the ways sexual orientation predicts testing behaviors. Studies mostly examine HIV testing without adjusting for sociodemographic and risk factors that differ among bisexual, heterosexual, and homosexual men. Most use single sexual orientation measures, which reveal little regarding the independent effects of sexual behavior, identity, and attraction. This study examined multiple sexual orientation measures' relationships with HIV testing among U.S. men. Methods: Data came from the National Survey of Family Growth. HIV testing measures assessed previous testing and the reasons for the men's tests. Logistic regression modeled all sexual orientation indicators as predictors of ever testing, past-year testing, and testing to know one's HIV status. Multivariate analyses controlled for sociodemographic and risk confounders. Results: Homosexually-active men had substantially greater likelihoods of testing (ever and during the past year) and testing solely to discover their HIV serostatuses than all other men, even when adjusting for sociodemographic and risk covariates. Bisexual behavior-identity interaction revealed that bisexually-active men identifying as bisexual had the lowest likelihoods of testing. But bisexually-active men had significantly more sex partners, drug use, and sex work than other men. Sexual attraction did not significantly predict HIV testing. Conclusions: Homosexual activity independently increased men's likelihoods for HIV testing. Bisexually-active men, in light of their substantially high levels of risk, had surprisingly low levels of testing. The author advocates for evidence-based interventions to increase bisexually-active men's inclinations to test for HIV.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the importance of multiple sexual orientation measures in HIV testing research. 2. Compare men with different sexual orientations along sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics. 3. Articulate the importance of evidence-based HIV testing interventions for bisexual men in the United States.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on this study. I analyzed all data and wrote the paper for this abstract. I have 5 years of HIV-related research experience.
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.