This study sought to study consumption patterns of gay-oriented sexually explicit media (SEM) by men who have sex with men (MSM); and to investigate a hypothesized relationship between gay SEM consumption and HIV risk behavior. Participants were 1,391 MSM living in the US, recruited online to complete a SEM consumption and sexual risk survey. Almost all (98.5 %) reported some gay SEM exposure over the last 90 days. While 41 % reported a preference to watch actors perform anal sex without condoms (termed "bareback SEM"), 17 % preferred to actors perform anal sex with condoms (termed "safer sex SEM") and 42 % reported no preference. Overall SEM consumption was not associated with HIV risk; however participants who watched more bareback SEM reported significantly greater odds of engaging in risk behavior. The results suggest that a preference for bareback SEM is associated with engaging in risk behavior. More research to understand how MSM develop and maintain preferences in viewing SEM, and to identify new ways to use SEM in HIV prevention, is recommended.
Aids and Behavior, 2013, Vol 17, Issue 4, p. 1488-98
behaviour; HIV negative; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't