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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


FERNANDEZ-DAVILA, Percy. «Fuck buddies»: a high risk behavior for contracting HIV among homo/bisexual men. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.6, pp.471-478. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: Despite prevention efforts, the prevalence of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) remains substantial among men who have sex with men (MSM). This study describes and analyzes how a group of MSM manages sexual risk with sexual partners. Method: Qualitative study by means in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 20 MSM, aged 21 to 40 years old, who had had at least one episode of UAI within the previous 3 months. A grounded theory approach was used to understand sexual risk management with sexual partners as seen by the MSM interviewed. Results: Most MSM were involved in UAI when they established relationships with «fuck buddies» as a way to balance their need for sexual expression with their need for sexual security. In these relationships, the partner's serostatus was assessed on the basis of trust and the assumption of sharing the same serologic status. Conclusions: Subjective evaluations (e.g. trust, intuition) played a key role in the decision to engage in UAI with «fuck buddies» without precise knowledge of their HIV serostatus. Future approaches need to include the role of subjectivity in making decisions related to risk management and the specific contexts (e.g. type of sexual partner) in which UAI takes place.

Keywords : Men who have sex with men (MSM); Sexual risk behavior; Qualitative research.

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