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October 9, 1987

Behavioral Consequences of AIDS Antibody Testing Among Gay Men

Author Affiliations

University of California, San Francisco

University of California, San Francisco

JAMA. 1987;258(14):1889. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400140051006

To the Editor.—  We followed up 502 gay and bisexual men from 1984 (before human immunodeficiency virus antibody testing was available) until 1986 (after testing was available) to determine the consequences of human immunodeficiency virus antibody testing on high-risk sexual behavior. The sample was recruited in 1983 and 1984 from bars, bathhouses, and newspaper advertisements calling for men who were celibate or in committed relationships.1 Ninety-one percent of the sample were white, 67% were college graduates, 82% were employed full-time, and 98% were exclusively or almost exclusively homosexual. The cohort was surveyed each November and asked to report the frequency of specific sexual acts during the previous month. We also asked whether they had been tested for antibodies to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome virus in the year prior to the survey and for the test result if known.As of November 1986, 40.8% had been tested. Of those tested,