Mathematical models predict higher rates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in populations with higher rates of concurrent sexual partnerships. Although gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have disproportionately high rates of HIV/STIs, little is known about the prevalence and correlates of sexual concurrency in these populations.
This paper reports findings from a national community-based survey of 1,034 Australian gay-identified men aged 18-39 years, who gave detailed information about their sexual partners over the past 12 months.
In all, 237 (23 %) reported two or more concurrent sexual partners.
For their most recent period of concurrency, 44 % reported three or more partners and 66 % reported unprotected sex with one or more of their partners.
A multivariate logistic regression found sexual concurrency was significantly more likely among men on higher incomes (P = 0.02), who first had anal sex at a relatively young age (P = 0.03), and who reported a large number of partners in the past 12 months (P < 0.001).
Age, education, HIV status, and other sociodemographic and sexual behavior variables were not significant correlates.
However, men who reported sexual concurrency were significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with an STI in the past 12 months (P = 0.04).
Findings from this study suggest sexual concurrency is common among younger Australian gay men. With many of these men not always using condoms, health agencies should consider the potential impact of concurrency on HIV/STI epidemics among gay men and other MSM.
Okay, so promiscuous men who engage in homosexual activity have higher rates of STI. Tell us something we don't know.
The thing is, the most obvious strategy to reduce STI's is to tell them to stop being promiscuous.
Not that I'm softening my stance on homosexual behaviour, but reducing promiscuity would be a good first step.
Do you think that's going to happen? Do you think Public Health officials will tell gay men: hey guys, tone it down a little...?
Even if it's the single most easily correctable factor in reducing STI's?
You know the answer.
AIDS Behav. 2013 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print]
Prevalence and Correlates of Sexual Partner Concurrency Among Australian Gay Men Aged 18-39 Years.
Lyons A, Hosking W.
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org.