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Author Notes:

Author for correspondence: Eli Rosenberg, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, #234, Atlanta, GA, 30322; Phone: 404-712-9733; Fax: 404-712-8392; Email: esrose2@emory.edu

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


Research Funding:

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities RC1MD004370, National Institute of Mental Health R01MH085600, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development R01HD067111, and P30AI050409 – the Emory Center for AIDS Research.


  • Concurrency
  • MSM
  • sexual networks
  • UAI
  • racial disparities

High Prevalence of Sexual Concurrency and Concurrent Unprotected Anal Intercourse Across Racial/Ethnic Groups Among a National, Web-Based Study of Men Who Have Sex With Men in the United States


Journal Title:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Volume 39, Number 10


, Pages 741-746

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background Men who have sex with men (MSM) are the largest HIV risk-group in the United States. Sexual concurrency may contribute to high HIV incidence, or to racial/ethnic HIV disparities among MSM. Limited information is available on concurrency and racial/ethnic differences among MSM, or on the extent to which MSM engage in concurrent unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). Methods Data are from baseline responses in a prospective online study of MSM aged ≥ 18 years, having ≥ 1 male sex partner in the past 12 months, and recruited from social networking websites. Pair-wise sexual concurrency and UAI in the previous 6 months among up to 5 recent partners was measured, using an interactive questionnaire. Period prevalences of concurrency and concurrent UAI were computed and compared across racial/ethnic groups at the individual and triad (a respondent and 2 sex partners) levels. Results 2,940 MSM reported on 8,911 partnerships; 45% indicated concurrent partnerships and 16% indicated concurrent UAI in the previous 6 months. Respondents were more likely to have UAI with two partners when they were concurrent, compared to serially monogamous (OR [95% CI] = 1.93 [1.75, 2.14]). No significant differences in levels of individual concurrency or concurrency among triads were found between non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic men. Conclusions Concurrency and concurrent UAI in the previous 6 months was common. Although there were no differences by race/ethnicity, the high levels of concurrency and concurrent UAI may be catalyzing the transmission of HIV among MSM in general.

Copyright information:

© 2012 by the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.

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