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Scand J Public Health. 2015 Jul;43(5):490-6. doi: 10.1177/1403494815578320. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Experiences of and attitudes towards HIV/STI prevention among holidaymaking men who have sex with men living in Sweden: a cross-sectional Internet survey.

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Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Sweden.
Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Sweden



Foreign travellers and men who have sex with men (MSM) are prioritised groups for human immunodeficiency virus/sexually transmitted infection (HIV/STI) prevention efforts in Sweden because of high prevalence of sexual risk-taking. This study aims to describe experiences of and attitudes towards HIV/STI prevention efforts, prior to travelling abroad, among MSM, and to investigate the kinds of prevention efforts that are desirable.


The study is based on survey responses from 656 MSM who had travelled abroad. Recruitment took place through a Nordic website, and had a cross-sectional design. The analysis has mainly been descriptive, but bivariate analyses were performed using the chi-square test. The level of significance was p <.05.


Only a few of the participants had encountered HIV/STI prevention efforts in Sweden (5%) and abroad (23%), and a majority (58%) felt that it should be more prevalent. Having free access to condoms and lubricants was preferred among 68% of the men. Furthermore, having written information, as opposed to oral, was also preferred (68% vs. 26%). MSM felt that it was easy to find out information (79%) and claimed they would use the Internet to do so (87%).


Service providers who offer their services to travellers are encouraged to provide helpful links to information about sexual health. Information that is geared towards risk groups such as young adults should be presented with awareness that MSM are also part of that group. It is important for information to be conveyed respectfully to everyone, but perhaps MSM in particular, since they may have experienced feelings of being stigmatised or discriminated against previously.


Attitude; HIV infections; MSM; STI; Sweden; holidays; prevention

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