The fallacy of intimacy: sexual risk behaviour and beliefs about trust and condom use among men who have sex with men in South Africa

SOURCE: Psychology, Health & Medicine
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2010
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Knox, H.Yi, V.Reddy, S.Maimane, T.Sandfort
KEYWORDS: HIV/AIDS, HOMOSEXUALITY, MEN, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6612

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

The objective of this study is to assess (1) whether beliefs about trust and condom use affect sexual risk behaviour, and (2) if beliefs about trust and condom use impact sexual risk behaviour directly or if this relationship is mediated by other determinants. The Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills model was used as a framework for the mediation analysis. A diverse cohort of three hundred 18-40 year old men who have sex with men (MSM) residing in Pretoria, South Africa, were recruited and surveyed for this project. Findings indicate that men who report a high frequency of past unprotected anal intercourse are more likely to believe that it is not necessary to use condoms with a trusted or steady partner regardless of their current partnership status. This fallacy of intimacy appears to affect sexual risk behaviour through intentions and attitudes regarding safer sex practices. Based on these findings, we recommend that more attention be given in gaining a better understanding of how beliefs about trust and condom use are formed and how they can be changed among MSM in South Africa.