269464 Association between race-based preferences and desired sexual practices among men seeking men for sex on the internet: Implications for sexual health

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Jaclyn White, MPH , The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA
Sari L. Reisner, MA , The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
David Pantalone, PhD , Department of Psychology, Suffolk University, Boston, MA
Matthew J. Mimiaga, ScD, MPH , Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health and the Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA
Race-based sexual preferences in the online profiles of men seeking men for sex may be relevant for understanding the sexual health of this population, including racial/ethnic disparities in HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In October 2011, a content analysis was conducted of 1,227 profiles of Boston-area members of a popular, racially diverse website for men who have sex with men (MSM) (29% White, 27% Black, 17% Asian, 27% Latino). Profiles were coded for age, race/ethnicity, HIV serostatus, desired sexual practices (e.g., group sex, rough sex, foreplay) and preferred partner race. Separate, adjusted logistic regression models examined the association between desired sexual behavior and one or more race-based preference. Overall, 77% of profiles reported looking for sex; 62% safer sex, 39% group sex, and 21% did not disclose HIV serostatus. Race-based preferences were reported in 7% (n=89) of the profiles sampled. In logistic regression models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, and HIV serostatus disclosure, endorsed sexual behaviors associated with citing a racial preference included: group sex (aOR=2.30; 95%CI=1.5-3.6; p=0.0003); rough sex (aOR=2.4; 95%CI=1.3-4.4; p=0.006); foreplay only (aOR=4.0; 95%CI=1.9-8.2; p=0.0002); and “party and play” (i.e. drug use during sex) (aOR=2.5; 95%CI=1.1-6.0; p=0.04). Among the Boston-area profiles sampled, race-based preferences were associated with the endorsement of a variety of sexual behaviors, some of which could place MSM at risk for HIV and other STIs. Future studies should explore the pathways through which racial and behavioral preferences impact the sexual mixing patterns and health of men seeking sex with men online.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To examine the association between reporting race-based preferences and desired sexual behaviors among men seeking sex with other men online.

Keywords: Gay Men, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and implemented the research study, conducted the analysis and served as the main author on the abstract. I am also the project manager on two NIH randomized controlled intervention trials that aim to reduce HIV sexual risk among highly at-risk populations - men who have sex with men who abuse crystal methamphetamine in the context of sex and young, transgender women.
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.