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LGBT Health. 2018 Feb/Mar;5(2):131-138. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2017.0076. Epub 2018 Jan 3.

HIV Education and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men.

Author information

1 Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health , Baltimore, Maryland.
2 Present affiliation: Department of Health Law, Policy & Management, Boston University School of Public Health , Boston, Massachusetts.
3 Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine , Baltimore, Maryland.



Men who have sex with men (MSM) have nearly 80 times the lifetime risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) relative to men who have sex with women only (MSW), and young MSM (YMSM) accounted for 95% of estimated HIV diagnoses among adolescents between 13 and 24 years in 2015. We aimed to evaluate HIV education and sexual risk behaviors among YMSM relative to young MSW (YMSW) and to evaluate the relationship between HIV education and YMSM sexual risk behaviors.


We used Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data from 13 states that collected information on sex of sexual contacts and on HIV education in 2011 and/or 2013. We assessed HIV education, number of sexual partners ever and in the past three months, and condom use at last sex in logistic regression analyses controlling for age, race/ethnicity, state, and year.


YMSM were less likely to report school-based HIV education and more likely to report sexual risk behaviors relative to YMSW. HIV education was associated with reduced sexual risk behaviors among all students and with significant additional reductions in sexual risk behaviors among YMSM.


There is a need for HIV education programs to reach YMSM, who are at increased risk of HIV.


education; men who have sex with men; prevention; sexual risk behavior

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