Sexual risk taking and club drug use across three age cohorts of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in New York City

Molly K. Pappas, Perry N. Halkitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined club drug use (i.e., cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, gamma-hydroxybutyrate [GHB], and methamphetamine) and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in an ethnically and racially diverse sample of 166 New York City-based seropositive, club drug-using, gay and bisexual men, ages 19-61, and considered these behaviors in relation to age category (20s, 30s, and 40+) and number of years living with HIV. Club drug use was common across all age categories, with differences arising only in the type of club drug used. Multivariate logistic regression modeling indicated older participants (30s and 40) were more likely to use cocaine and methamphetamine and less likely to use GHB and ketamine than those in their 20s. We examined UAI with casual partners in relation to age category, the number of years living with HIV, and club drug use. The likelihood of engaging in UAI with seronegative casual partners was greater among those in their 20s than those in their 30s or 40+. Further, participants were equally likely to engage in unprotected receptive anal intercourse and unprotected insertive anal intercourse with each casual partner serostatus type. With regard to number of years living with HIV, those living longer with the disease were more likely to report UAI with casual partners with a seropositive status than with a negative or unknown serostatus. Our findings suggest that UAI and club drug use is common among seropositive gay and bisexual men regardless of age category, but that differential patterns of risk emerge in relation to the number of years one has been living with HIV and age. These findings are of significance as both the aging population of seropositive gay and bisexual men and HIV infection rates continue to grow, and demonstrate a need for differentiated and tailored prevention strategies across the age continuum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1410-1416
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Aging
  • Club drugs
  • Gay and bisexual
  • HIV
  • Seropositive
  • Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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