Data from the latest National Survey of Family Growth shows that men who have sex with other men are reportedly having fewer partners, according to a survey conducted between 2006 and 2012 compared to the same survey in 2002.
The mean number of male sexual partners for MSM fell from 2.9 to 2.3 between the two surveys and was more marked in men under 24 years old (mean 2.9 to 2.1 partners), the report states. The number of partners also fell in men aged 35 to 44 from 3.0 to 2.2.
NSFG interviewed 4,928 in 2002 and 10,403 men from 2006 to 2010.
The study also found that while in 2002, 57 percent of men had not used a condom the last time they had anal sex, that number increased slightly to 58 percent in 2006 to 2010. Also, fewer men reported transactional sex (sex for money or drugs) in the last year (down from 15 to 3 percent).
Regarding the apparent drop in the number of sexual partners, the report concludes that “gay men appear to have taken steps that could reduce their HIV risk by using a method that has received little emphasis in HIV prevention programmes for gay men – reducing their number of partners – while not increasing condom use, which has received the most emphasis.”