The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) System collects risk behavior data from three populations at high risk for HIV infection: MSM [men who have sex with men], injection-drug users, and heterosexual adults at increased risk for HIV infection. Data for NHBS are collected in rotating cycles. NHBS participants must be aged ≥18 years, live in a participating metropolitan statistical area, and be able to complete a behavioral survey in English or Spanish. Men who reported being infected with HIV or who had no male sex partners during the past 12 months were excluded from this analysis.
So this study excludes those who are HIV positive...in other words, the homosexual population most likely to have engaged in dysfunctional behaviour.
Results: This report summarizes data gathered from 8,175 MSM during the second data collection cycle of NHBS.
That's a fairly large survey sample.
In addition to having at least one male sex partner, 14% of participants had at least one female sex partner during the past 12 months.
How many of these call themselves "exclusively gay". I wish they'd asked that question.
Unprotected anal intercourse with a male partner was reported by 54% of the participants;
Men don't want to use condoms. Shocking, I know.
37% reported having unprotected anal sex with a main male partner (someone with whom the participant had sex and to whom he felt most committed, such as a boyfriend, spouse, significant other, or life partner), and 25% reported having unprotected anal sex with a casual male partner (someone with whom the participant had sex but with whom he did not feel committed, did not know very well, or had sex with in exchange for something such as money or drugs).
Noninjection drug use during the past 12 months was reported by 46% of participants. Specifically, 38% used marijuana, 18% cocaine, 13% poppers (amyl nitrate), and 11% ecstasy. Two percent of the participants reported injecting drugs for nonmedical purposes in the past 12 months
Of the participants surveyed, 90% had been tested for HIV during their lifetime, 62% had been tested during the past 12 months, 51% had received a hepatitis vaccination, 35% had been tested for syphilis during the past 12 months, and 18% had participated in an individual- or group-level HIV behavioral intervention.
Condoms not always used, drug use is common.
I'd be interested in comparing these numbers with a similar population of heterosexuals.
Interpretation: MSM in the United States continue to engage in sexual and drug-use behaviors that increase the risk for HIV infection. Although many MSM had been tested for HIV infection, many had not received hepatitis vaccinations or syphilis testing, and only a small proportion had recently participated in a behavioral intervention.
Negative generalizations about homosexuals? Homophobe!
Public Health Action: To reduce HIV infection among MSM, additional effort is needed to decrease the number of men who are engaging in risk behaviors while increasing the number who recently have been tested for HIV.
How about discouraging homosexual behaviour altogether? Oh no, that would be too obvious.