Patterns of Sexual Behavior and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

Sara A. Vasilenko, Cara E. Rice, Joshua G. Rosenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Young men who have sex with men (MSM) are at an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Recent research has documented the importance of understanding the multidimensional nature of sexual risk behavior; however, little is known about how multidimensional patterns of sexual behavior among MSM may be associated with STIs. Method This study applies latent class analysis to data from a large, HIV- sample of 18- to 25-year-old MSM recruited from social and sexual networking Web sites (N = 5965; 76% white, 11% Latino, 5% black, 4% Asian, 4% other; 74% homosexual, 21% bisexual, 1% heterosexual, 3%, unsure/questioning 1% other) to uncover multidimensional patterns of past-year sexual behaviors, partner factors, and protective behavior and their associations with self-reported STI diagnosis. Results We selected a model with 8 classes, with nearly half of participants belonging to a class marked by multiple behaviors with more than 1 partner, and smaller numbers of individuals in classes with a smaller number of behaviors, romantic relationships, and sexual inactivity. Class membership was associated with recent STI diagnosis, with classes marked by no penetrative sex or receptive anal sex with consistent condom use having lower prevalence than those with inconsistent condom use, including those engaging in only insertive anal sex. Conclusions Findings suggest heterogeneity of behaviors within MSM and that prevention messages may be more effective if they are tailored to individuals' patterns of sexual behavior, as well as demographic and sociocontextual factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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