Myers, Ted; Allman, Dan; Calzavara, Liviana; Morrison, Ken; Marchand, Rick; Major, Carol
June 1999
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;Summer99, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p115
Academic Journal
This article examines the effects of sexual partnerships and variations on sexual risk behavior among gay and bisexual men in Toronto, Ontario. In epidemiological studies that focus on gay men's sexual risk behavior the context in which it occurs is often ignored. Increasingly, knowledge of the type and nature of the partnerships is seen to be important when assessing sexual risk behavior. For this study, gay and bisexual men were recruited through community groups, gay bars and bathhouses to complete a questionnaire on sexual practices with primary and casual same-sex partners. Partnerships were grouped as primary (16.2%, n = 110), casual (40.0%, n = 187) and both primary and casual (16.2%, n = 76). In these configurations 40.0%, 13.3% and 31.4% respectively reported at least one episode of unprotected sex in the previous three months. The pattern was for men to refrain from risky activities with their casual partners. However, for some men a reverse pattern of risk was reported. These findings emphasize that, for HIV education and prevention, there is a need to address the diversity of men's relationships, to recognize the diversity of behavior within relationships and to open discussion about the factors that influence condom use.


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