Sexual Behavior of men who Have sex With Men: Comparison of Three Data Sources
C. den Daas1, B. Bakker2, E. Op de Coul1
1National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht, The Netherlands2Rutgers WPF, The Netherlands
Background: MSM are a high-risk group, and therefore target of much research investigating risk factors related to having STI/HIV. Our primary objective was to compare findings of three data sources regarding differences in demographics, risk factors, STI/HIV and their relations. Methods: Dutch data available in 2010 from EMIS, an international internet survey, Schorer Monitor , a Dutch internet survey, as well as data from 3800 STI-clinic visits were combined into one dataset. Findings: Risk factors were similar in the databases, with besides some actual differences, some differences caused by question phrasing. We analyzed three outcomes, having STI or HIV, and having never tested for HIV. Risk factors include drug use (e.g., combinations of drugs increased the risk), age, residence, and number of partners. Notably, ethnicity had no effect. Data from STI-clinics differed, possibly as it involves diagnosed instead of self-reported STI/HIV. Discussion: This research sheds light on the comparability of different initiatives investigating MSM, consequences of phrasing questions differently, and ultimately differences in conclusions drawn based on these initiatives.