Objective Prior studies have shown that men who have sex with men (MSM) who attend sex clubs or parties are at higher risk for HIV and other STIs than those who do not. We sought to provide data about MSM who attend sex clubs/parties in New York City (NYC) in the era of biomedical HIV prevention.
Methods: We conducted an online survey among MSM in NYC (n=766) in 2016–2017 and investigated differences between those who reported never attending a sex club/party (non-attendees 50.1%), those who had attended over a year ago (past attendees 18.0%) and those who attended in the prior year (recent attendees 30.1%). We also conducted multivariable analyses to explore associations with past-year STI diagnosis.
Results: Recent attendees were not more likely to be HIV positive than non-attendees. Among participants never diagnosed with HIV, recent attendees were more likely to use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, 32.6%) than non-attendees (14.5%) and past attendees (18.8%; p<0.001). Recent attendees reported the highest numbers of recent sex partners, including partners with whom they had condomless anal sex. Significantly more recent attendees reported an STI diagnosis in the prior year (27.9%) compared with non-attendees (14.0%) and past attendees (16.5%; p<0.001). However, 13.8% of non-attendees and 11.5% of past attendees reported having never tested for STIs, significantly more than recent attendees (6.0%, p=0.010). Multivariable analysis showed recent attendees to have 2.42 times the odds (compared with non-attendees) of reporting past-year STI diagnosis (95% CI 1.52 to 3.87, p<0.001).
Conclusions Compared with those who had not done so, MSM who attended sex clubs/parties in NYC in the prior year were not only more likely to report past-year STI diagnoses but also more likely to report PrEP use or recent HIV/STI testing. Sexual health promotion among MSM who attend sex clubs/parties should address STI risk and prevention.
- Sexually transmitted infections
- men who have sex with men
- risk factors
- HIV infection
- pre-exposure prophylaxis
- sexual health
- sex clubs
- sex parties
- New York City
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Handling editor Catherine H Mercer
Contributors ÉM and KS were both involved with the design of the study and data collection. ÉM conducted analyses and wrote the initial draft and revisions of the manuscript. KS contributed to manuscript refinement.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Columbia University’s Institutional Review Board approved all study procedures (Protocol #AAAR1140).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.