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AIDS Care. 2006 Jan;18(1):54-9.

Cruising for sex: sexual risk behaviours and HIV testing of men who cruise, inside and outwith public sex environments (PSE).

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School of Health and Social Care, Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland.


This paper describes sexual risk behaviours and HIV testing amongst men who cruise an urban public sex environment (PSE) in southern England. Data were collated using a cross-sectional survey (response rate = 56%; n=216), sampling men from directly within the PSE. As such, this represents the first peer-review study generalizable to the wider population of urban PSE users. The current sample reflect a highly sexually active population, almost one-third (31%) reported over 50 sex partners in the last year. However, just one-quarter (26%) reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with at least one partner outside of a 'safer sexual strategy'. Almost 1 in 12 (7%) reported UAI within the PSE. Over two-thirds (71%) had had a named HIV test of whom 16% had tested HIV positive. Just one-third (34%) of negative/untested PSE users had tested within the previous two years. Positive men were significantly more likely to report unsafe sex within the PSE in the last year. PSE users report lower levels of UAI than men in the local gay community but higher HIV prevalence. PSE-based UAI remains an HIV (re)infection risk. In concert, these findings suggest the importance of in situ targeted health promotion to prevent PSE-based risks.

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