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Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 61

Abstract 1990-1999

Kelly JA, Sikkema KJ, Winett RA, Solomon LJ, Roffman RA, Heckman TG, Stevenson LY, Perry MJ, Norman AD, Desiderato LJ. Factors predicting continued high-risk behavior among gay men in small cities: psychological, behavioral, and demographic characteristics related to unsafe sex J Consult Clin Psychol. 1995 Feb;63(1):101-7.

Nearly 6,000 men entering gay bars in 16 small American cities were anonymously surveyed to assess their sexual behavior and to determine predictors of risky sexual practices. Excluding individuals in long-term exclusive relationships, 27% of the men reported engaging in unprotected anal intercourse in the past 2 months. Factors strongly predictive of risk included having a large number of different male partners, estimating oneself to be at greater risk, having weak intentions to use condoms at next intercourse, believing that safer sex is not an expected norm within one's peer reference group, being of younger age, and having less education. These findings indicate that HIV prevention efforts are urgently needed for gay men in smaller cities, with efforts particularly focused on young and less educated men sexually active with multiple partners. Prevention should focus on strengthening intentions to change behavior and on changing social norms to foster safer sex.

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