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Decisions About Condom Use Among Gay Couples Vary by Race
Date:7/23/2012

SUNDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Decisions about condom use among gay couples vary by race, a new study reveals.

Although black gay couples tend to practice safe sex more often, researchers from San Francisco State University found they don't talk about it. However, white gay couples often do the opposite, they noted. Although these couples discussed condoms, they are more likely to have unprotected sex.

The study authors added their findings are significant since gay men account for the majority of new HIV cases in the United States.

In their report, the researchers examined the behaviors of male couples living in San Francisco and New York City.

They found black couples were more likely to use condoms than white couples, regardless of HIV status. The black couples said that having safe sex was an unspoken rule and condom use was expected.

"Research has shown that some of the fastest-growing HIV cases in the U.S. are among men in couple relationships and among black men. However, we studied black men with black partners and found that they are practicing safe sex," said study leader Colleen Hoff, a professor of sexuality studies, said in a news release from San Francisco State. "This suggests that being in a relationship isn't a risk factor for black men. We need to keep searching for other factors that may explain the high incidence of HIV among this demographic."

The study also revealed that most white couples did not use condoms, regardless of HIV status. These couples reported they came to this decision by talking about the risks and benefits of having unprotected sex. The researchers noted interracial gay couples were not in agreement on whether to use condoms.

White and interracial couples that included partners with different HIV status said the health of the partner with HIV was a big part of their decision to have safe or unprotected sex. Many of these couples believed that if the H
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