Concurrent Sexual Relationships Not Uncommon Among U.S. Men, Contributing to Spread of HIV, Study Says
Eleven percent of men in the U.S. report that they have conducted multiple sexual relationships at the same time during the past year -- a behavior that could be contributing to the spread of HIV in the country -- according to a study published online on Tuesday in the American Journal of Public Health, Reuters Health reports. For the study, Adaora Adimora of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and colleagues examined data from a 2002 federal survey that included 4,928 men between ages 15 and 44. The study showed that 11% of the men said they had at least two concurrent sexual relationships during the previous year. Among this group, most said they had only female partners.
The study found that the men were more likely to report that they drank and used drugs during sex and that their female partners also were involved in other sexual relationships, Reuters Health reports. In addition, men with more than one female partner were more likely than monogamous men to have sex with another man, according to the study. Black and Hispanic men were two to three times more likely than white men to have concurrent sex partners, the study found (Norton, Reuters Health, 10/30).
"The higher concurrency prevalence in various groups, dense sexual networks, and mixing between high-risk subpopulations and the general population may be important factors in the U.S. epidemic of heterosexual HIV infection," the authors concluded (Adimora et al., American Journal of Public Health, 10/30). "This study sheds light on the epidemic of heterosexually transmitted HIV in the U.S.," particularly among blacks and Hispanics, Adimora said, adding, "People, especially women, need to avoid partnerships with people who have other partners" (Reuters, 10/30).
The study is available online.