Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes Vol. 60; No.
MSM have higher HIV and other STI rates than do women and
heterosexual men - an elevated risk that persists across age
groups and reflects biological and behavioral factors.
However, few direct comparisons of sexual behavior patterns
have been done between these populations.
The study authors compared sexual behavior patterns of MSM and
male and female heterosexuals ages 18-39 using four
population-based random digit dialing surveys. MSM data
estimates came from a 1996-1998 survey in four US cities and
from two Seattle surveys (2003 and 2006); a 2003-2004 Seattle
survey provided data about heterosexual men and women.
Compared with heterosexuals, MSM had an earlier sexual debut,
and they reported longer cumulative lifetime periods of new
partner acquisition and a more gradual decline in new
partnership formation with age. Among MSM, 86 percent of those
ages 18-24 and 72 percent of those ages 35-39 formed a new
partnership during the past year, compared with 56 percent of
heterosexual men and 34 percent of women ages 18-24, and 21
percent and 10 percent, respectively, at 35-39. In addition,
MSM were more likely to choose partners >5 years older and two
to three times as likely as heterosexuals to report concurrent
partnerships. MSM reported more consistent condom use during
anal sex than was reported during vaginal sex by
"MSM have longer periods of partnership acquisition, a higher
prevalence of partnership concurrency, and more age
diassortative mixing than heterosexuals," the authors
concluded. "These factors likely help to explain higher
HIV/[STI] rates among MSM, despite higher levels of condom