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Study: High-risk sex not more likely with online hookups

Study: High-risk sex not more likely with online hookups

Although previous studies have suggested that gay men who meet sex partners on the Internet are more likely to engage in high-risk sex than other gay men, new research backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows no difference in risky behavior between men who meet partners online and those meeting partners in other ways. Researchers at the Medical and Health Research Association of New York City surveyed more than 1,700 gay men from the United States and Canada about their sexual behavior. The study's findings suggest that unprotected anal intercourse is not more common between gay men who meet online and even show that gay men are more likely to reveal their HIV status when meeting partners online than when meeting them offline. More than one quarter of the men reported unprotected anal intercourse in their most recent encounter. There was no difference in the proportion of men reporting unprotected anal intercourse among men who met their sex partner online and those who met their partner in others ways. The study also showed that 57% of the HIV-positive men surveyed who met their sex partners online disclosed their HIV status, compared with 45% of the men who disclosed their status to partners met offline. Crystal methamphetamine users were shown to be 6.7 times more likely to report unprotected anal intercourse than those who did not use the drug. Among HIV-positive gay men surveyed, unprotected anal course was shown to be much more common with partners who also are HIV-positive than with men who are HIV-negative or whose serostatus was unknown.

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