High-risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in 6 US cities: baseline data from the EXPLORE Study

Am J Public Health. 2003 Jun;93(6):926-32. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.6.926.


Objectives: We describe the prevalence of risk behaviors at baseline among men who have sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in a randomized behavioral intervention trial conducted in 6 US cities.

Methods: Data analyses involved MSM who were negative for HIV antibodies and who reported having engaged in anal sex with 1 or more partners in the previous year.

Results: Among 4295 men, 48.0% and 54.9%, respectively, reported unprotected receptive and insertive anal sex in the previous 6 months. Unprotected sex was significantly more likely with 1 primary partner or multiple partners than with 1 nonprimary partner. Drug and alcohol use were significantly associated with unprotected anal sex.

Conclusions: Our findings support the continued need for effective intervention strategies for MSM that address relationship status, serostatus of partners, and drug and alcohol use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / genetics
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Behavioral Research
  • Cities
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gonorrhea / genetics
  • Gonorrhea / prevention & control*
  • Gonorrhea / psychology
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Ligase Chain Reaction
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safe Sex / psychology*
  • Safe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • United States
  • Urban Health*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • HIV Antibodies