Awareness and use of untested barrier methods by HIV-seropositive gay and bisexual men

R. J. Wolitski, P. N. Halkitis, J. T. Parsons, C. A. Gómez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about HIV-seropositive men's awareness and use of untested barrier methods during anal intercourse. A sample of 240 HIV-seropositive men (69.2% men of color) completed a self-administered survey that included items on nonoxynol-9 (N-9), female condoms, and the simultaneous use of two male condoms (double bagging). Most participants (79.6%) had heard of N-9 being used to prevent HIV transmission during anal intercourse. Of these, 20.0% rated N-9 as more effective than condoms, and 14.6% had used N-9 instead of condoms. Fewer men (35.4%) were aware of female condoms being used during anal intercourse. Overall, few respondents (5.4%) had used female condoms; 53.8% of whom rated the device as more pleasurable than male condoms. Most men (69.6%) had heard of double bagging, and 35.2% had engaged in this practice. Of these, 45.1% rated the practice as less pleasurable than using a single condom. Few associations were observed between participant characteristics and the awareness or use of these barrier methods. The widespread use of these untested methods emphasizes the urgent need to further educate HIV-seropositive men about the potential risks of N-9 use and to test the effectiveness of other strategies that may serve as alternatives to male condom use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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