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HIV-related sexual risk behaviour between 1996 and 2008, according to age, among men who have sex with men (Scotland)
  1. Christina Knussen1,
  2. Paul Flowers1,
  3. Lisa M McDaid2,
  4. Graham J Hart3
  1. 1Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, UK
  3. 3Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research, Research Department of Infection and Population Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr C Knussen, Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK; c.knussen{at}


Objective To examine changes in the proportions of those reporting 2+ unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) partners in the previous 12 months among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Scotland between 1996 and 2008. Differences according to age group were also examined.

Methods Logistic regression was used with data from eight cross-sectional anonymous, self-report surveys in commercial gay venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh (N=10 223). Data were stratified according to survey and age group (<25 years vs ≥25 years).

Results The percentage of 2+ UAI partners reported in the previous 12 months increased significantly between 2000 and 2002, adjusted for age group. When the surveys were divided into two time periods (1996–2000 and 2002–2008), no significant differences were found within each time period in the percentage of 2+ UAI partners reported (adjusted for age group). However, a significant increase was found when the aggregated figures for 2002–2008 were compared with those for 1996–2000. At the aggregate level, those aged <25 years were significantly more likely than those aged ≥25 years to report 2+ UAI partners in the previous 12 months (adjusted for survey).

Conclusions HIV-related sexual risk behaviour did not change significantly between 2002 and 2008 among MSM in Scotland, after the increases noted between 2000 and 2002. A significant minority of MSM continue to engage in relatively high levels of sexual risk, and younger generations appear to be at particular risk. This represents a public health concern and highlights the need for targeted age-specific interventions.

  • HIV
  • men who have sex with men
  • unprotected anal intercourse

Statistics from


  • Funding Medical Research CouncilHIV ScotlandGay Men's Health. The UK Medical Research Council funds LMcD and the 1996, 1999, 2002a, 2005 and 2008 surveys as part of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme (WBS U.1300.00.005) at the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit. HIV Scotland funded the Healthy Gay Scotland 2000 survey and Gay Men's Health funded the 2002b and 2003 surveys.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of Glasgow Ethics Committee for Non-clinical Research Involving Human Subjects, University of Glasgow Faculty of Medicine Ethics Committee, or the Psychology Ethics Committee at Glasgow Caledonian University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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