Early sexual debut and health outcome in Norwegian men who have sex with men (MSM)
Introduction: HIV incidence in MSM in Norway has increased since 2003. Several studies find associations between sexual debut age, HIV, usage of drugs and alcohol as well as increased amounts of emotional and physiological distress. The overall aim of this study was to describe the sexual debut age among a convenience sample of Norwegian MSM taking part in an internet survey, and examine possible associations between an early sexual debut (first intercourse with another man before 14 years of age) and work; education and income; self-perceived-health; sexual identity and sexual risk behaviour; drugs and alcohol use; and self-reported HIV status. Methods: A cross-sectional internet-based survey was done in 2007 among members of a MSM-oriented Norwegian web-site. A self-administrated standardized questionnaire was filled in anonymously and submitted in a questback format. Descriptive statistics are presented and the strength of associations was measured by Pearsons’s chi-square test and univariate logistic regression analysis. Results: The survey had 2598 respondents (16-74 years range), 383 with an early debut (84 with no debut) and 2106 with a later debut. An early sexual debut was associated with: a low education; being unemployed/ retired/ social security taker; having >10 lifetime sex-partners; >500 lifetime sex-partners; unprotected anal intercourse with a casual partner; poor self-perceived health; taken a HIV test; feeling alcohol intoxicated >7 times a month; ever tried: marihuana/hash, pharmaceuticals, ecstasy (XTC), LSD, GHB, cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, “poppers” and Viagra. Conclusion: We found an association with numerous sexual partners and unprotected anal intercourse (casual partner), but no associations to HIV status. An early debut was associated with having taken a HIV test and a higher usage of drugs and alcohol among the early debut group. Our results show associations between an early sexual debut and a poorer health outcome, compared to a late debut.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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