Objective: In this paper, we compare trends in sexual risk among gay men in the largest city in England (London) and the largest city in Scotland (Glasgow).
Methods: Self-complete questionnaires administered to representative samples of men visiting the commercial gay scenes in London and Glasgow in 1996, 1999, and 2002 (N = 8247).
Results: Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the trends in unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), UAI with partners of unknown/discordant HIV status, and UAI with more than 1 partner. Each increased significantly in 1999 and 2002 in London, but only in 2002 in Glasgow. Testing for HIV also increased significantly in London, but not in Glasgow. Overall, HIV testing levels were considerably lower in Glasgow (in 2002, 49.1% vs. 74.6% in London). Overall, sexual risk was higher in London, but UAI with partners of unknown/discordant HIV status was higher in Glasgow (in 2002, 27.4% vs. 21.3%).
Conclusions: Although the same pattern of increase in HIV-related sexual risk behavior was apparent in the cities, differences in HIV testing and nonconcordant UAI suggest different HIV prevention needs and that targeted health promotion interventions are required in London and Glasgow. City-specific factors should be considered in the development of appropriate sexual health interventions.