Risky sex behavior is on the rise among MSM
Condomless sex and other risky sex behaviors are on the rise among men who have sex with men in the United States. Scientists from the University of Connecticut analyzed data from surveys conducted in 1997, 2005,2006, and 2015 at the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival. The results of the study were published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. The study involved 1,831 gay men who provided anonymous information about their substance use, sexual behavior, beliefs about HIV treatment etc.
According to the study unprotected anal sex significantly increased among HIV-positive men and also among uninfected men and those who did not know their HIV status. In 2015, 52% people from all of the above groups also reported having had unprotected intercourse with two or more partners in the six months before the survey which is 43% higher than in 1997.
The scientists suggest that such a dramatic rise of unprotected sex and risky sex behavior among MSM are linked to ART drugs. These drugs, known as a protective back-up against contracting or transmitting the disease, make people complacent.
"Treatment-related behavioral beliefs in this study paralleled a resurgence in condomless anal sex among men who have sex with men measured over nearly two decades. The current study adds to the mounting evidence that substantial changes have occurred in community-held beliefs that condomless anal sex is safer in the era of HIV treatment as prevention," says study leader Seth Kalichman.