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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Maryland Researchers Examine Drug Use and Sexual HIV Transmission Risk among Men of Various Sexual Orientations and Their Female Partners

In a newly published study led by University of Maryland School of Public Health’s Dr. Typhanye Dyer (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics), researchers mapped out drug use, sex risk, and STI/HIV among men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) and their female partners.

[Photo: Dr. Typhanye Dyer]

The team evaluated drug use, sex risk, and biologically-confirmed STI/HIV in various populations. First, they looked at MSMW and men who had sex with men only (MSMO), versus men who had sex with women only (MSWO). Next, they considered the female partners of MSMW versus the female partners of MSWO (182 men, 152 women).

MSMW had 30 to 60% increased odds of substance use versus MSWO; they had over twice the odds of multiple partnerships, and were almost five times more likely to be involved in the sex trade and be infected with HIV. Female partners of MSMW had approximately twice the odds of substance use versus female partners of MSWO, and one and a half to two times the odds of multiple partnerships and involvement in the sex trade.

“We examined drug use and HIV sexual risk in a sample of heterosexual, bisexual and gay men and their female partners, in an attempt to examine whether the partners of bisexual men were themselves more likely to engage in high risk behaviors besides ‘just’ having a partner who had sex with men,” Dr. Dyer said. “This paper highlights the bidirectional nature of risk within networks. It also suggests that there may be something that is missed in research as it pertains to partner ‘selection’.”

The researchers concluded that interventions should address STI/HIV risk among MSMW and their female partners.

“Drug Use and Sexual HIV Transmission Risk Among Men Who have Sex with Men and Women (MSMW), Men Who have Sex with Men only (MSMO), and Men Who have Sex with Women Only (MSWO) and the Female Partners of MSMW and MSWO: A Network Perspective” was published in AIDS and Behavior: