Heterosexual behaviours among men who sell sex to men in coastal Kenya

AIDS. 2015 Dec;29 Suppl 3(0 3):S201-10. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000889.


Objective: African men who have sex with men often sell sex to men, and MSM who sell sex (MSM-SW) often also have female partners. We compared sexual risk behaviour of MSM-SW who were sexually active with female partners (bisexual MSW) to MSM-SW with only male partners (exclusive MSW).

Design: Descriptive behavioural study

Methods: : A novel, validated daily event and partner diary self-completed by 82 MSM who sold sex over a follow-up period of 42 days with weekly review. Cumulative individual counts of sex and condomless sex were compiled by partner characteristics. The incidence of specific partnerships and sex acts were compared within and between bisexual and exclusive MSW.

Results: Most (59%) MSM-SW reported female partners during follow-up. The majority of both male and female partners were cash-paying clients originating locally. Bisexual MSW reported a similar rate of condomless sex with male and female partners, but significantly fewer male partners than exclusive MSW. Bisexual MSW had lower HIV prevalence, were more likely to only report insertive anal sex roles, and reported lower frequencies of condomless receptive anal sex than exclusive MSW.

Conclusion: Bisexually active male sex workers in coastal Kenya create HIV and other sexually transmitted infection transmission pathways to partners and clients in both MSM and heterosexual networks, but differed from exclusive MSW in having lower HIV acquisition and transmission risks. Epidemiological projection methods are liable to overestimate bridging potential of MSM-SW and MSM populations without account for systematic differences in risk within these populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bisexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Heterosexuality / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • Self Report
  • Sex Workers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Young Adult