Survey lays bare the sex life of gay men
THE PREFERRED identification of men who slept with other men (MSM) is gay. Some describe themselves as bisexual, a smaller group say they are straight while an even smaller number prefer to be seen as transgender.
More than half of 925 men from Joburg, Cape Town and Durban taking part in a Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) study admitted to having had sex with three or more partners within six months of the survey.
About 20 percent of Joburg MSM, 12 percent in Cape Town and 23.5 percent in Durban said they had no male partner in the six-month period. Far fewer said they had been with one partner during the period– 13 percent of them from Cape Town, 10 percent from Durban and 15.4 percent from Joburg.
When asked about regular male and female sexual partners, many participants from Durban and Cape Town said they had not had sex with women in the previous six months.
While more than 90 percent from Durban and 74 percent from Cape Town had not been with a woman, 43 percent of Joburg participants said they had engaged in sexual relations with women and 63 percent of them had had regular male partners.
Slightly less than 10 percent of the Capetonians said they had had no regular female partner, which was more than the 4 percent and 5 percent from Durban and Joburg.
The men were also asked about their participation in vaginal sex, condom use and if they had had any transactional sex within the six months leading up to the survey, in the two-year study called Marang Men’s Project.
The project report was launched yesterday, and it was aimed at uncovering the behaviour of the MSM community and their HIV risk factor.
Researchers said they had found them at higher risk of HIV infections. “Unprotected anal intercourse (barebacking) puts MSM at increased risk for HIV infection, and it is encouraging that condom use with a male partner was found to be more than 80 percent,” project co-ordinator Allanise Cloete said.
Recommendations from the HSRC included the establishment of a national combination HIV prevention programme for MSM.
It’s encouraging that condom use was at least 80%