Methods: The authors conducted a secondary data analysis of the Twenty Percent Study, a study of BMSM in 2016. The study examined HIV risk behavior among BMSM. The originally self-administrated web-based survey examined sexual histories, HIV risk, and risk behaviors, and social stigma among 443 BMSM in the United States. The authors hypothesized social stigma and demographic characteristics will predict sexual health communication among BMSM. Furthermore, it is hypothesized sexual health communication will differ based on venue for finding one’s sexual. General linear regression (GLM) was used to examine the predictors of sexual health communication with one’s sexual partners.
Results: GLM found marijuana use prior to sex (B = 1.60), being HIV positive (B = 1.80), perceived masculinity (B = 0.86) and type of sexual partner (B = 3.54) were predictors of decreased sexual health communication (F (5,252) = [9.100], p < 01). Partner venue was not a significant predictor for sexual health communication (B = .192, p = 0.70) after being controlled by marijuana use, HIV status, partner sexual type, and perceived masculinity.
Conclusions and Implications: These findings support a better understanding of sexual health communication based on where one finds their partner. Traditionally, geospatial apps have been seen as a risk factor for HIV however these findings suggest geospatial apps are not associated with greater risk. HIV prevention interventions should explore how to leverage these apps for sexual health promotion and sexual health communication. Given the findings related to stigmatized identities and interpersonal context (intimacy), interventions should be developed to address these factors in risk reduction for BMSM. Further research is needed to examine reimagined HIV prevention interventions which seek to incorporate both psychosocial and behavior components of decision making.