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Childhood sexual abuse predicts HIV risk sexual behavior in adult gay and bisexual men.
Jinich S; Stall R; Acree M; Paul J; Kegeles S; Hoff C; Coates TJ; Center
January 30, 1997
Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):177 (abstract no. Mo.D.1718). Unique

Objective: 1) To explore the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse with significantly older partners among adult gay and bisexual men in two western cities in the United States. 2) To compare the current sexual behaviors and HIV status of adult gay and bisexual men who experienced sexual abuse as children to the sexual behaviors among men who did not experience childhood sexual abuse. Methods: Adult gay and bisexual men (n=1933) from two household-based and two bar-based samples were interviewed by telephone or by mail. Two methods were used to sample adult gay/bisexual men in Portland and Tucson in 1992: (1) a randomized time period technique to recruit male patrons of gay bars; (2) a list-frame telephone sample of households to screen for households with resident gay/bisexual men. Results: 32% of the men (n=626) reported childhood sexual abuse prior to age 16 with someone at least 5 years older than them. Those who experienced sexual abuse during childhood were more likely to report riskier sexual behaviors as adults than those who were not abused: 30% vs. 20%, p is less than .0001) reported unprotected anal intercourse in the last 30 days and 13% (vs. 8%, p is less than 01) reported unprotected oral sex to ejaculation with a nonprimary receptive partner. Among those abused, 34% reported they had not been coerced, while 31% were mildly coerced and 34% strongly coerced or physically forced. Whereas 21% of nonabused men and 25% of abused/not coerced men engaged in unprotected anal intercourse with a nonprimary partner in the past 12 months, a significantly higher proportion of men who experienced mild coercion (32%) and strong coercion or physical force (36%) engaged in this practice, X2 (3, 1368) = 21.4, p is less than 0001. Men who were sexually abused were more likely to be HIV + than those not abused (24% vs. 19%, p is less than .05). Conclusions: The prevalence of sexual abuse in this population was considerably higher than studies have reported for the general male population. Childhood sexual abuse contributes to the continued high-risk sexual behavior of gay and bisexual men particularly among men who recall their experience as coercive. The next generation of HIV preventive interventions requires that we develop interventions which identify, target, and support young sexually abused gay and bisexual adolescents in order to focus on the psychosocial impact of the childhood sexual experience and to provide psychoeducational experiences to focus on underlying processes which, if not addressed, could lead to higher risk for HIV.

*Bisexuality *Child Abuse, Sexual/PSYCHOLOGY *Homosexuality, Male *Sex Behavior