Yale University

Indicators of HIV-risk resilience among men who have sex with men: a content analysis of online profiles.

TitleIndicators of HIV-risk resilience among men who have sex with men: a content analysis of online profiles.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWhite Hughto, Jaclyn M., Anna P. Hidalgo, Angela R. Bazzi, Sari L. Reisner, and Matthew J. Mimiaga
JournalSexual health
Date Published2016 Jun 2
AbstractBackground: HIV-risk resilience, or positive adaptation in the face of risk, is increasingly being recognised as an important characteristic among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, resilience in the context of online partner seeking remains underexplored among MSM. Methods: Using content analysis methodology, this study operationalised indicators of HIV-risk resilience in the profiles of 933 MSM using a sexual networking website. HIV-risk resilience included endorsing foreplay only (non-penetrative sex) or a versatile sexual position; being "out" (e.g. disclosed sexual orientation), having a profile photo, seeking friendship, seeking a relationship, serosorting, not endorsing alcohol or drug use, safer sexual adventurism (e.g. role playing, bondage), and safer sex. Results: The majority of men were between 18 and 35 years old (76.0%) and 73.3% were racial/ethnic minorities. The mean number of resilience components endorsed was 5.2 (s.d. = 1.5; range 0-9). Nearly half (48.0%) reported being "out" and 68.7% had a profile photo. The majority of men were seeking relationships (66.5%) and/or friendships (69.7%), were sexually versatile (53.3%), and preferred safer sex only (76.3%). The majority did not endorse drug use (82.0%) and 25.4% did not endorse alcohol use. Nearly one-quarter (21.4%) endorsed sexual adventurism and 2.5% were serosorting by partner's HIV negative status. Conclusion: HIV-risk resilience may be common among MSM using sexual networking websites and may manifest in safer sex intentions. Rather than exclusively focusing on sexual risk reduction, health promotion efforts targeting MSM online should acknowledge, measure, and leverage existent HIV-risk resilience strategies in this group.
Alternate JournalSex Health

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