Psychosocial Vulnerability and HIV-Related Sexual Risk Among Men who have Sex with Men and Women in the United States

Typhanye P. Dyer, Rotrease Regan, Lauren R. Pacek, Abenaa Acheampong, Maria R. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In the U.S., HIV is concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM), some of whom have had female partners (MSMW). MSMW are disproportionately impacted by psychosocial vulnerabilities, like depression and substance use that increase sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV risk. Research on psychosocial vulnerability and HIV-related sexual risk among MSMW is warranted to reduce infection transmission among MSM and to prevent bridging to female partners. We analyzed data from Wave IV (2007–2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to assess psychosocial vulnerability and HIV risk-taking among MSMW. Using lifetime and past year sexual activity, we classified men as ever having sex with: women only (MSW), men only (MSMO) or MSMW, with further refined categorization of MSMW with male only partners in the past 12 months, only female partners in the past 12 months, and both male and female partners in the past 12 months (N = 6,945). We compared psychosocial vulnerability characteristics and HIV-related risk behaviors among the five categories of men. MSMW were more likely to report depression, suicidality, substance use, and incarceration than MSW and MSMO. Compared to MSW, MSMW with current female partners had greater odds of unprotected sex, exchange sex, and STI. MSMW with male partners in the past year had greater odds of multiple or concurrent partners in the past year. HIV risk and psychosocial vulnerability factors are elevated among MSMW, a priority population for HIV risk reduction. HIV risk reduction interventions should address this and heterogeneity of sexual partnerships among MSMW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-441
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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