The study showed that homosexual couples are more likely to have safe sex.
The decision about condom use between gay couples varies by ethnicity, a new study shows.
Although homosexual couples tend to have safe sex frequently, researchers at San Francisco State University found that they did not talk about it. They noted that white homosexual couples often do the opposite. Although these couples have discussed condoms, they are more likely to have unprotected sex.
The authors added that their findings are important because homosexual men represent the majority of new cases of HIV in the United States.
In their report, the researchers examined the behavior of male partners living in San Francisco and New York.
They found that black couples were more likely to use condoms than white couples, regardless of HIV status. The black couples said that safe sex was a tacit rule and that condoms were expected to be used.
“Research has shown that some of the fastest growing HIV cases in the United States are between men in marital relationships and black men,” said study leader Colin, “but we studied black men with black partners and discovered that they had safe sex. ” Hoff, a professor of sexuality studies, said in a press release from San Francisco. “This indicates that being in a relationship is not a risk factor for black men.” We must continue to look for other factors that may explain the high incidence of HIV infection in this population. ”
The study also revealed that most white couples do not use condoms, regardless of HIV status. These couples reported that they came to this decision when talking about the risks and benefits of unprotected sex. The researchers noted that gay couples do not agree to using condoms.
White and ethnic couples who shared couples with different levels of HIV said that the health of an HIV-positive partner was an important part of their decision to have safe or unprotected sex. The study found that many of these couples believe that if a person with HIV is taking the medication and has a low viral load, it is unlikely that they will transmit the disease to their negative partner.
The researchers suggested that this reflects the belief of some homosexual couples that progress in HIV treatment reduces the risks associated with the virus.
“When you evaluate and listen to some people who have a lower viral load, they can interpret this as low risk, since there is no risk and, therefore, they do not use any protection,” Hoff said. “It’s a calculated risk to take.”
The study found that among homosexual couples who occasionally violated their consent to have safe sex, the race again played a role in the way they treated the situation. Black couples tend to discuss what happened, try HIV and re-use condoms. At the same time, gay and lesbian couples were more likely to continue having unprotected sex.
“We found that black and white gay men treated the information they received about HIV in different ways, and black men who use condoms are the default option,” researcher Chad Campbell said in a news release. “The black gay men surveyed were aware of the high rates of HIV infection in the population and were taking steps to ensure that they did not become another statistic.”
The study was expected to be presented on Sunday at the International Conference on AIDS in Washington, DC.
The research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.