via, by Anthony Lyons

Objectives To determine whether there is a link between age at first anal intercourse (AFAI) and gay men’s HIV/sexually transmissible infection (STI) vulnerability, including tendencies to engage in higher risk sexual behaviour.
Methods A nationwide cross-sectional survey was conducted online involving 845 Australian gay men born between 1944 and 1993.
Results Median AFAI fell from 35 years for men born between 1944 and 1953 to 18 years for men born between 1984 and 1993. Of those who reported having had anal intercourse (N=822), HIV-positive men were found to be significantly younger on average when they first had anal intercourse compared with HIV-negative men (18.5 vs 21.3 years, p<0.001). Men with a history of other STIs were also significantly younger. Engaging in higher risk sexual behaviour is a likely factor, with AFAI generally younger among men who reported >10 sexual partners in the past year (p<0.001) and who engaged in group sex (p<0.001), receptive anal intercourse (p=0.008) or were drug or alcohol affected (p=0.06) during their most recent sexual encounter.
Conclusions There appears to be a strong link between AFAI and infection with HIV/STIs, as well as tendencies to engage in higher risk sexual behaviour. While further research is needed to understand this link, these findings highlight a need for sexuality education aimed at gay-identified youth to ensure their sexual debut does not lead to poorer sexual health outcomes.

Read the rest.

*Join IRMA’s robust, highly-active. moderated, global listserv addressing rectal microbicide research and advocacy as well as other interesting new HIV prevention technologies by contacting us at Joining our listserv automatically makes you a member of IRMA – a network of more than 1,100 advocates, scientists, policy makers and funders from all over the world.

*Please look for us on Facebook:, and you can follow us on Twitter: @rectalmicro.

*Also, please note that shared news items from other sources posted on this blog do not necessarily mean IRMA has taken any position on the article’s content.