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Gay men's casual sex encounters: discussing HIV and using condoms

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Some gay men disclose their HIV serostatus to enable them to decide to discard condoms in at least some casual encounters. In this paper we consider under what circumstances this occurs. We draw on data from the Sydney Men and Sexual Health cohort study, including both structured and semi-structured interviews. We find that casual sexual encounters among gay men are complex events, involving a broad range of types of partner and circumstance. A significant minority of men disclose their HIV serostatus; 36.3% of those who discussed their serostatus with casual partners engaged in unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with those partners, while only 9.9% of those who did not discuss their serostatus engaged in UAI with those partners. We also find that disclosure of HIV serostatus, discussion and use of condoms during casual encounters are affected by the particular circumstances of those encounters, including the degree of familiarity between casual partners.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540120120043928

Affiliations: 1: University of New South Wales, Australia 2: University of Western Sydney, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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