“I Know, But…”: Complexity of Gay Men's Sexual Decision Making in the Third Decade of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Without Condoms: Unprotected Sex, Gay Men, and Barebacking by Michael Shernoff (see record 2006-01384-000). How do gay men perceive taking a “rational” risk with their sexual behavior and HIV in the third decade of the epidemic? How important are the historical and psychological aspects of gay male sexuality to understanding bareback sex–that is, unprotected anal intercourse (UAI)–and gay men who identify as persons who intentionally engage in barebacking? How do researchers, community HIV prevention practitioners, and mental health professionals approach the issues raised by barebacking? These are the questions that Michael Shernoff, a sex-positive HIV prevention pioneer and psychotherapist in New York City, explores in his book Without Condoms: Unprotected Sex, Gay Men, and Barebacking. The book is structured in three sections divided into seven chapters: (a) Gay Men, Sex and Condoms: An Overview; (b) Taking Off the Condoms: Raw Sex in Relationships; and (c) The Role of the Professional and the Community.

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