Behaviourally bisexual men as a bridge population for HIV and sexually transmitted infections? Evidence from a national probability survey

Mercer, C. H., Hart, G. J., Johnson, A. M. and Cassell, J. A. (2009) Behaviourally bisexual men as a bridge population for HIV and sexually transmitted infections? Evidence from a national probability survey. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 20 (2). pp. 87-94. ISSN 0956-4624

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Abstract

Behaviourally bisexual men as a bridge population for HIV and sexually transmitted infections? Evidence from a national probability survey C H Mercer PhD * , G J Hart PhD *, A M Johnson MD * and J A Cassell MD * Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research, Research Department of Infection and Population Health, University College London, London WC1E 6JB; Division of Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Brighton, Brighton BN1 9PH, UK Correspondence to: Dr Catherine H Mercer, Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research, Research Department of Infection and Population Health, University College London, Mortimer Market Centre, off Capper Street, London WC1E 6JB, UK Email: cmercer@gum.ucl.ac.uk We consider the potential of behaviourally bisexual men (BBM) as a bridge population in sexually transmitted infection (STI)/HIV transmission by comparing sexual risk behaviours, attitudes and sexual health outcomes of BBM (defined as men who reported sex with men and women), with men who reported (i) exclusively male partners (MEMP) and (ii) exclusively female partners (MEFP), using a probability survey of the British general population aged 16–44 years, conducted between 1999 and 2001 (n = 5168 men). About 1.3% of men who reported sex in the past five years were BBM (44.1% of all men reporting male partners); 29.0% of BBM were married/cohabiting with women. Median partner numbers in this timeframe were seven among BBM, two among MEFP and 10 among MEMP. Similar proportions of BBM and MEMP reported STI diagnosis/es in the past five years, yet BBM were less likely than MEMP to report HIV-testing (odds ratio adjusted for sociodemographics: 0.31). BBM are thus mid-way between MEFP and MEMP in their sexual risk behaviour, but are similar to MEMP in reporting STI diagnosis/es. These data have implications for health promotion and partner notification, as BBM are unlikely to be appropriately targeted by safe-sex messages aimed at men identifying as gay.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bisexual, men who have sex with men, gay men, sexual behaviour, HIV-risk
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Depositing User: Caroline Brooks
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2009
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2185
Google Scholar:13 Citations
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