Serosorting sexual partners and risk for HIV among men who have sex with men

Am J Prev Med. 2007 Dec;33(6):479-85. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2007.08.004.


Objective: The purpose of the current study was to assess whether men who have sex with men (MSM) who limit their unprotected anal sexual partners to those who are of the same HIV status (serosort) differ in their risk for HIV transmission than MSM who do not serosort.

Methods: Cross-sectional surveys administered at a large Gay Pride festival in June 2006 (80% response rate) were collected from MSM. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify predictors of serosorting. Analyses were conducted in 2006.

Results: Participants were self-identified as HIV-negative MSM (N=628); about one third of them engaged in serosorting (n=229). Men who serosort were more likely to believe that it offered protection against HIV transmission, perceived themselves as being at no relatively higher risk for HIV transmission, and had more unprotected anal intercourse partners. Over half the sample reported their frequency of HIV testing as yearly or less frequently; this finding did not differ between serosorters and nonserosorters.

Conclusions: Men who identify as HIV-negative and serosort are no more likely to know their HIV status than men who do not serosort and are at higher risk for exposure to HIV. Interventions targeting MSM must address the limitations of serosorting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Seronegativity
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology
  • HIV Seropositivity / transmission*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safe Sex / psychology*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology*