I have just finished reading an interesting article at Xtra where it was identified through results from a survey conducted by the Community Healthcare Network involving a number of men who have sex with men (MSM) that almost half of gay and bisexual men have bareback sex. The survey involved a sample of 725 men, with most saying they are educated about HIV/AIDS and fear getting infected or re-infected. As this is only a small selection of men, you need to be mindful about the overall reality of the findings, but the results are definitely interesting. I have located the source document and included a link to it below if you would like to read more.

The survey participants were from various parts of the world and not just concentrated in one location or country. There were respondents from Australia, Canada, Eastern Europe, South America, the United Kingdom and most came from the United States. The focus of the survey involved men who used apps such as Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt and Growlr on their mobile devices to meet sexual partners. This makes the results even more interesting, because the guys using these devices to meet other men for sex are quite likely to be having casual encounters with other men.

Dr Freddy Molano and Renato Barucco of New York’s non-profit Community Healthcare Network (CHN) were responsible for this survey and the purpose was to gain insight into men’s perspectives on HIV/AIDS and unprotected sex. The survey also included an optional section asking respondents why they might takes risks during sex. I find survey results interesting and I previously operated BarebackSurvey.com myself for several years, although the site has not been online for the past number of years due to the manual work involved with tallying results. If I can automate the survey results and attempt to prevent data manipulation, I will consider bringing it back, because it was a great way to learn more about barebackers and barebacking.

The Community Healthcare Network survey found that 80.9% of respondents know that HIV is transmitted through unprotected anal sex, vaginal sex and – less frequently – oral sex. 68.1% of the men surveyed are afraid to be infected or re-infected and believe people should be more concerned about the epidemic and view it overall as a serious issue. A vast majority of participants consider barebacking to be dangerous and believe that barebackers know the risks. 46.4% of respondents admit to barebacking “always, often or sometimes”, while almost 53.6% say they never have unprotected anal intercourse.

The reasons given for engaging in unprotected sex were primarily because condoms don’t feel good, with 84.6% of respondents choosing this reason. 73.8% of respondents state that they act impulsively or are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I highly recommend that you take a look at the Xtra article by following the link at the bottom of this page, as there is further interesting reading, including comments from healthcare professionals that have worked in the area of HIV. The source document from the Community Healthcare Network is also an interesting read and this link will take you to the PDF file, so you need to have Adobe Acrobat reader to view the document.

It’s important to note that survey results can be skewed, so while I have presented the results published by the Community Healthcare Network, I cannot determine the quality of the results. Important factors such as the small sample size and the inability to know how the questions were presented can impact on the results. For example, if the survey allowed each participant to choose separate responses for “always”, “often” and “sometimes” about whether they engage in unprotected anal sex, then one person can say yes three times. Without knowing whether respondents were allowed multiple responses or only single responses to questions such as this one, I urge you to be open-minded about the overall results.

References:

  1. Almost half of gay men bareback: study – Xtra
    http://www.xtra.ca/public/Vancouver/Almost_half_of_gay_men_bareback_study-13026.aspx
  2. Community Healthcare Network Releases New Report on Attitudes, Knowledge About HIV/AIDS Among Gay, Bisexual Men Who Use Social Networking Apps – Community Healthcare Network
    http://www.chnnyc.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-Grindr-PR-FINAL.docx1.pdf
Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *