Background: This study examined sexual risk behaviors of young Black men who have sex with men and women (YBMSMW), based on sexual identity disclosure or non-disclosure to their female partners.
Methods: Data were collected in an STI clinic of Jackson Mississippi. The men (N=207) were 15-29 years of age, identified as Black and engaged in sexual intercourse with a man in the past three months. Men who have sex with men and women were identified in the sample and dichotomized by disclosure and nondisclosure of sexual identity. Sexual risk outcomes were selected: 1) unprotected anal receptive sex (UARS), 2) unprotected anal insertive sex (UAIS), 3) unprotected vaginal sex (UVS) and 4) HIV status. Bivariate associations between these outcomes and disclosure status to their female partners were conducted.
Results: Mean age was 22.4 years (SD=2.96). YBMSMW accounted for (N=91) 37% of the sample. Majority of the men disclosed their sexual identity to their female partners (75%), compared to 25% who did not disclose their sexual identity. Men who disclosed their sexual identity to their female partners were more likely to HIV positive (P=.027). Although not reaching significance, those disclosed their sexual identity had higher rates of unprotected intercourse of all categories: UAIS (76% and 24%), UARS (65% and 35%), and UVS (75% and 25%).
Conclusions: There was a trend towards higher rates of unprotected intercourse reported by those who disclose their sexual identity to their female partner, underscoring the need for more education and counseling for women who have sex with gay or bisexual men. Many of these women may be unaware of their HIV risk and the risk of their sexual partners.