Despite being grouped together in epidemiological risk categories, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) are not a homogenous group. In addition to traditional segmentation along race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, many GBM also identify with sexual subcultural communities. Previous research has shown differences across a variety of health outcomes between these sexual subcultural communities. The purpose of this study was to determine whether HIV prevention practices among GBM differed according to sexual subcultural community. The study was conducted in collaboration with a popular social and sexual networking smartphone application company. A total of 23,577 GBM responded to the survey. A latent class analysis identified 6 distinct classes related to sexual subcultural community identification. We found significant differences across sociodemographic characteristics, HIV prevention practices, and condomless anal sex in the past 6 months related to sexual subculture identification. Findings suggest that sexual subcultural identity is related to decision-making around HIV prevention among GBM. Differences in HIV prevention strategies are likely a function of group norms, unique shared experiences among GBM identifying with a particular sexual subculture community, and sociodemographic characteristics associated with these groups. As such, sexual subculture identity should be considered in developing interventions and social marketing campaigns to increase uptake of biomedical HIV prevention tools among GBM. Identifying group norms and shared experiences related to HIV prevention practices among sexual subcultures is necessary to understand the role these identities play in lives of GBM, especially as it relates to their sexual health and well-being.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)