The Perfect Man: How Do Desired Partner Characteristics Shape Condom Use in Young MSM Relationships?

Lawrence S. Young, Emory University
Patrick Sullivan, Emory University

For young MSM, approximately 80% of new HIV infections are estimated to arise from main sex partners. This research examines variations in desired characteristics of sexual partners, and investigate how these characteristics influence non-condom use among a sample of young black and white MSM.30 MSM 18-25 were recruited for in-depth interviews (IDIs). IDI’s explored the factors that shape the choice of sexual partner, how these factors influence condom use, and how decisions to have anal sex without condoms vary based on desired characteristics of sexual partners. Perceived Intelligence was associated with choosing not to use a condom. Also, the desire for good sex was associated with non-condom use. The more desirable attributes a potential partner had was associated with a decreased desire to use condoms. Programs and messaging that focus on how decisions about sexual risk behavior are influenced by romantic relationships, are needed for this this group.

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Presented in Session 160: Sexual Behavior, Sexual Networks and STI/HIV