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Differences in gay men's AIDS risk knowledge and behavior patterns in high and low AIDS prevalence cities.
  • Published Date:

    1989 Jul-Aug

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 104(4):391-395
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  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    Several studies have found reductions in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) risk practices among gay men in high AIDS-prevalence cities since the start of the AIDS crisis. Much less is known about risk behavior patterns among gay men in smaller cities, where AIDS cases are less common and the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus infection is relatively lower. In the study, men entering gay bars in three cities, one large and two small, completed anonymous surveys of sexual practices and AIDS risk knowledge. Men in high AIDS-prevalence areas were found to have had a greater number of sexual partners, were more knowledgeable about AIDS, were much more likely to engage in low-risk practices (such as mutual masturbation or body rubbing), and had unprotected anal intercourse less frequently than gay men in smaller cities. The most common sexual activity among gay men in the larger city was mutual masturbation, a low-risk practice. The most common sexual activity among gay men in the smaller cities was unprotected anal intercourse. Increased efforts are needed to educate gay men and to promote risk behavior changes among those living in smaller cities and in communities outside the prominent AIDS epicenters.
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