Comparison of Demographic and Behavioral Characteristics of Men Who Have Sex With Men by Enrollment Venue Type in the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System

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Abstract

Background:

During 2003–2005, the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) enrolled men who have sex with men (MSM) from 12 different venue types in 15 metropolitan areas in the United States. Our goal was to examine whether limiting NHBS enrollment venues to gay bars and dance clubs could increase efficiency without changing the overall results and conclusions.

Methods:

We used logistic regression analysis to compare the demographic characteristics and reported HIV risk behaviors among MSM enrolled in gay bars and dance clubs with those enrolled in sex venues and those enrolled in other venues.

Results:

Of the 11,471 eligible men included in the analysis, 6419 (56%) were enrolled at bars and clubs, 481 (4%) at sex venues, and 4571 (40%) at other venues. Compared with men enrolled at bars and clubs, men enrolled at sex venues were more likely to be older, of nonwhite race/ethnicity, bisexual, infrequent gay venue attendees, and to have 10 or more male sex partners in the past 12 months. Men enrolled at other venues were more likely to be older and less likely to use noninjecting drugs in the past 12 months. The absolute differences in these characteristics between men enrolled in bars and clubs and those enrolled in comparison venue categories were small in most instances.

Conclusions:

Although the differences in characteristics by venue category were not large in magnitude, there was evidence that restricting NHBS enrollment to bars and clubs would affect national estimates of behavioral risk factors among MSM.

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