142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Frequency, Reasons for, and Perceptions of Lubricant Use among a Nationally Representative Sample of Self-Identified Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Vanessa Schick, PhD , Division of Management, Policy and Community Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Michael Reece, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Stephanie Sanders, PhD , The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Introduction: Despite its public health significance, few previous studies have examined lubricant use among gay and bisexual men outside the context of HIV risk reduction associated with condom use during penile-anal intercourse and, to a lesser extent, the potential use of lubricants to deliver rectal microbicides. The majority of studies examining lubricant use among gay and bisexual men have employed convenience sampling strategies for participant recruitment, with limited generalizability.

Methods: Data are from a subset of individuals who were sampled as part of the 2012 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB), which involved the administration of an online questionnaire to a nationally representative sample of individuals in the United States ages 18 and older. Using established techniques, we oversampled for probability samples of self-identified gay and bisexual men.

Results: The vast majority (over 90%) of both gay and bisexual male participants reported using lubricant during sexual activity at least one time. Lubricant use was most common during partnered sexual activities, particularly among men ages 25-29 years old. The most commonly reported reasons for lubricant use included to increase comfort during anal intercourse, curiosity, and to make sex more comfortable.

Conclusions: Most gay and bisexual men in the United States have used lubricant to enhance a wide range of sexual activities, including but not limited to anal intercourse. Findings from this study will be of great utility to clinicians and other health practitioners who seek to understand and promote sexual health among gay and bisexual men and other traditionally underserved public health populations.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of understanding lubricant use as a sexual health promotion and sexual pleasure enhancement strategy. Discuss the significance of probability sampling in providing a representative understanding of sexual behavior and risk among sexual minority individuals, in addition to convenience sampling strategies (many of which rely on high risk recruitment venues). Compare the rates of lubricant use among gay men and bisexual men in relation to specific sexual behaviors, including anal sex, vaginal sex, and other partnered behaviors. Evaluate the utility of innovative interventions aimed at promoting lubricant use as a routine component of gay and bisexual men's sexual health and pleasure.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Immediate Past-Chair of the HIV/AIDS section and a co-investigator on this study.
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.