Differential HIV risk in bathhouses and public cruising areas

Am J Public Health. 2001 Sep;91(9):1482-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.9.1482.


Objectives: This report investigates differences in risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) who went to gay bathhouses, public cruising areas, or both.

Methods: We used a probability sample of MSM residing in 4 US cities (n = 2,881).

Results: Men who used party drugs and had unprotected anal intercourse with nonprimary partners were more likely to go to sex venues than men who did not. Among attendees, MSM who went to public cruising areas only were least likely, and those who went to both public cruising areas and bathhouses were most likely to report risky sex in public settings.

Conclusions: Distinguishing between sex venues previously treated as a single construct revealed a significant association between pattern of venue use and sexual risk. Targeting HIV prevention in the bathhouses would reach the segment of men at greatest risk for HIV transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Baths / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / etiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Public Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Toilet Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data