“Yes SIR Give me HIV SIR”: Leather and HIV

So on a whim, I recently googled “Leather and HIV”.  For those readers not aware of what leather has to do with homosexuality or MSM, in the gay (and heterosexual) community, there exists a subset of individuals who gather pleasure from dressing in erotic leather (i.e. chaps, harnesses) and having consensual sex with other leatherphiles.  Usually the sex will consist of individuals taking either a dominant or passive role playing “master” and “slave”.   In many large gay cities there is usually a “leather bar” where people with such interests can meet like minded people.  Here in DC, there is the DC Eagle.

The first hit was a recent study entitled HIV in the Leather Community: Rates and Risk-Related Behaviors The link to this article has the full text.   Interestingly, according to this study leathermen were 61% more likely to be HIV positive than non-leathermen.    The study also found that combined, HIV-negative and HIVpositive Leathermen were less likely to use condoms during receptive anal intercourse than non-Leathermen.  The same trend was found for insertive anal intercourse.   Additionally, role seemed to matter.  Combined, HIV-negative and HIV-positive leathermen who self labeled as “submissive” were less likely than those who self labeled as non-submissives to use condoms.

So next time you are hanging out at the leather bar, some food for thought.  I’d be interested to see some future studies.

HIV in the Leather Community: Rates and Risk-Related
Behaviors

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