Predictors of unprotected sex among young sexually active African American, Hispanic, and White MSM: the importance of ethnicity and culture

AIDS Behav. 2008 May;12(3):459-68. doi: 10.1007/s10461-007-9291-y. Epub 2007 Aug 25.


Despite the recognized need for culturally tailored HIV prevention interventions for gay, bisexual, and questioning youth, few studies have examined if predictors of unprotected sex vary for youth from different ethnic groups. This study reports on a sample of 189 gay, bisexual, and questioning youth (age 15-22) from three racial/ethnic backgrounds (African American, Hispanic, and White) recruited in Chicago, IL and Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Florida. For African American youth, being in a long-term relationship, having been kicked out of the home for having sex with men, and younger age at initiation of sexual behavior were associated with unprotected sex. For Hispanic youth, higher ethnic identification and older age at initiation of sexual behavior were associated with unprotected sex. For White youth, no predictors were associated with unprotected sex. Our findings point to the importance of understanding the varying predictors of unprotected sex and integrating them into tailored prevention interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude / ethnology*
  • Black or African American / ethnology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Culture*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Homosexuality / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unsafe Sex / ethnology
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data*
  • White People / ethnology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*