USA study of sex toy use by HIV-positive men who have sex with other men: implications for sexual health

Int J STD AIDS. 2011 Aug;22(8):442-8. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2011.010488. Epub 2011 Jul 8.


HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts men who have sex with men (MSM) in the USA. Most existing literature on MSM with HIV focuses on transmission risk, but does not acknowledge health-promoting sexual behaviours men may undertake. This study examined sex toy use within this population to describe the extent to which using toys is incorporated into their sexual repertoires as a risk reduction practice. Data regarding sociodemographics, sexual/health-related behaviours and sex toy use were collected from 2275 MSM using an online survey. Most participants reported being sexually active (88.5%), and the majority (70.2%) of participants reported sex toy use within the previous year. Sex toy users were more likely to be white, in sexual relationships with others, and reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction. Given that sex toy use is common among this population, room for discussion exists about sex toys as tools to enhance pleasure and reduce HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Play and Playthings
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners
  • United States / epidemiology