The effects of sexual partnership and relationship characteristics on three sexual risk variables in young men who have sex with men

Michael E. Newcomb*, Daniel T. Ryan, Robert Garofalo, Brian Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the United States are experiencing an alarming increase in HIV incidence. Recent evidence suggests that the majority of new HIV infections in YMSM occur in the context of serious relationships, which underscores the importance of examining predictors of sexual risk behavior in the context of sexual partnerships, including relationship type, sexual partner characteristics, and relationship dynamics. The current study aimed to evaluate relationship and sexual partnership influences on sexual risk behavior in YMSM, including differentiating between multiple sexual risk variables (i.e.; any unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, unprotected insertive anal or vaginal intercourse, and unprotected receptive anal intercourse). More serious/familiar partnerships were associated with more sexual risk across all three risk variables, while wanting a relationship to last was protective against risk across all three risk variables. Some variables were differentially linked to unprotected insertive sex (partner gender) or unprotected receptive sex (partner age, partner race, believing a partner was having sex with others, and partners repeated across waves). Sexual risk behavior in YMSM is inconsistent across sexual partnerships and appears to be determined in no small part by sexual partner characteristics, relationship dynamics, and sexual role (i.e.; insertive or receptive partner). These influences are critical in understanding sexual risk in YMSM and provide important targets for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Risk-Taking
Sexual Behavior
Unsafe Sex
Sexual Partners
HIV Infections
Sexual
HIV
Incidence

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Relationships
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual risk
  • Young men who have sex with men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the United States are experiencing an alarming increase in HIV incidence. Recent evidence suggests that the majority of new HIV infections in YMSM occur in the context of serious relationships, which underscores the importance of examining predictors of sexual risk behavior in the context of sexual partnerships, including relationship type, sexual partner characteristics, and relationship dynamics. The current study aimed to evaluate relationship and sexual partnership influences on sexual risk behavior in YMSM, including differentiating between multiple sexual risk variables (i.e.; any unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, unprotected insertive anal or vaginal intercourse, and unprotected receptive anal intercourse). More serious/familiar partnerships were associated with more sexual risk across all three risk variables, while wanting a relationship to last was protective against risk across all three risk variables. Some variables were differentially linked to unprotected insertive sex (partner gender) or unprotected receptive sex (partner age, partner race, believing a partner was having sex with others, and partners repeated across waves). Sexual risk behavior in YMSM is inconsistent across sexual partnerships and appears to be determined in no small part by sexual partner characteristics, relationship dynamics, and sexual role (i.e.; insertive or receptive partner). These influences are critical in understanding sexual risk in YMSM and provide important targets for intervention.",
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