Sexual behaviors of adolescent emerging and young adult men who have sex with men ages 13-29 in New York City

Perry N. Halkitis, Sarah Brockwell, Daniel E. Siconolfi, Robert W. Moeller, Rachel D. Sussman, Paris J. Mourgues, Blayne Cutler, M. Monica Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Content: HIV infections among young men who have sex with men (YMSM), ages 13-29 in New York City have been steadily increasing over the last decade. Objective: To document the sexual onset and behavior of YMSM as a means for informing the development of new HIV prevention messaging. Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants: Five hundred fifty-eight YMSM, with more than 60% racial/ethnic minorities. Results: Young adults (25-29 years) reported a greater number of lifetime sexual partners, but the adolescents (13-17 years) and emerging adults (18-24 years) reported having their first sexual encounter with another man at a younger age. Black and Latino men first engaged in various sexual behaviors, including receptive anal intercourse, at a younger age than either Asian/Pacific Islander or white men, and were more likely to report an HIV-seropositive status. Across race/ethnicity, YMSM reported an equivalent number of recent male sex partners and selected both main and casual partners who were age and race/ethnicity matches. During the most recent sexual encounter with a casual male partner, black men were more likely than white men to have had unprotected receptive anal intercourse, whereas white men were more likely to report unprotected oral sex. Black YMSM reported more recent female partners than all other groups. Conclusions: Black and Latino YMSM may be at increased risk for seroconversion because they tend to start having sex with other men at a younger age than their white and Asian/Pacific Islander peers and because they engage in unprotected sexual behaviors with men of concordant race/ethnicity and of a similar age where levels of viremia may be more elevated but not because of the sheer number of sexual partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • YMSM
  • developmental stage
  • gay and bisexual
  • sexual onset
  • sexual risk taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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