Characteristics and Risk Behaviors of Men Who Have Sex With Men and Women Compared With Men Who Have Sex With Men—20 US Cities, 2011 and 2014

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Men who have sex with men (MSM) are heterogeneous with respect to sexual behavior. We examined differences in sex behaviors between men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) and men who have sex with men only (MSMO).


Data for this analysis were from MSM who participated in National HIV Behavioral Surveillance in 2011 and 2014. We used the combined years to evaluate demographic and behavioral differences between MSMW and MSMO. Using log-linked Poisson regression models, adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) were calculated for behavioral outcomes.


Overall, 2042 (11.9%) participants were classified as MSMW. MSMW were less likely than MSMO to have condomless sex with male partners [aPR 0.77; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.74 to 0.81] and to have been diagnosed with another sexually transmitted disease (aPR 0.83; 95% CI: 0.72 to 0.95). MSMW were more likely than MSMO to have given money or drugs for sex (aPR 2.85; 95% CI: 2.52 to 3.24) or received money or drugs for sex (aPR 2.64; 95% CI: 2.37 to 2.93) and to ever have injected drugs (aPR 2.05; 95% CI: 1.80 to 2.34). MSMW had more total sex partners (median 6, interquartile range: 4–11 vs. 3, 2–8), casual sex partners (5, 2–10 vs. 3, 1–7), and condomless sex partners (2, 1–4 vs. 1, 0–2) in the last 12 months (P < 0.01 for all comparisons).


MSMW have distinct sexual risk behaviors from MSMO and may contribute to HIV transmission among women. MSMW could benefit from tailored interventions to reduce HIV risk behaviors.

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