Men who have sex with men (MSM) continues to be a common route of HIV transmission in the U.S. among adults and adolescents, accounting for over 68% of the estimated new HIV diagnoses in 2013. Correct and consistent condom use is one of the primary means of protection from HIV infection and according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, condom use is declining among men who have sex with men.
Findings from the CDC’s report, the 2014 HIV Infection Risk Prevention, and Testing Behaviors in Men Who Have Sex With Men, are based on surveys from 9,640 MSM ages 18 or older living in 20 major U.S. cities. This 2014 survey from the National Board HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) project is conducted every three years. Twenty-eight percent of participants in the survey were Black males.
Nearly two-thirds of participants reported having anal sex without condoms at least once during the past year and 25 percent reported having receptive anal intercourse condomless the last time they had sex with a man. In 2014, 3.5 percent of HIV-negative MSM surveyed reported using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Evidence suggests that the decision to use condoms or not among MSM varies depending on four main reasons:
- their personal HIV status
- the status of their partner(s)
- whether the partner(s) is casual or their primary relationship
- sexual position (seropositioning)