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Health & Sex

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11% of Men Have Multiple Sex Partners

Pattern Raises HIV Risk, Researchers Warn
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 31, 2007 -- Eleven percent of U.S. men have concurrent sex partners, meaning they are in more than one sexual relationship at a time, a new study shows.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, is based on a CDC study conducted from March 2002 through March 2003.

More than 4,900 men ages 15-44 participated in telephone interviews about their sex lives, including the dates during which they were in sexual relationships in the previous year.

Concurrent sexual relationships were particularly common among these groups:

  • Unmarried men
  • Men who had been in prison
  • Men who reported being intoxicated while having sex
  • Men who have had sex with men
  • Men with female sex partners who had concurrent sexual relationships of their own

That mix may put those men -- and their partners -- at higher risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

African-American and Hispanic men were more likely than white men to report concurrent sexual relationships.

But in all ethnic groups, most men had "no more than one sexual partner" in the previous year," write Adaora Adimora, MD, MPH, and colleagues, who work at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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