• Article

Probability sample estimates of bathhouse sexual risk behavior

OBJECTIVE: Previous research links high rates of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with men who go to bathhouses; however, the literature provides no prevalence estimates. An exit survey of a probability sample was conducted to describe the prevalence of risk activity at the bathhouse. METHODS: Data are from a 2-stage probability sample of men exiting a gay bathhouse (n = 400). RESULTS: During their visit, 91.5% of men had oral sex and 44.2% had anal sex (11.1% reported UAI and 5.5% reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse). In the prior 3 months, 85% reported having anal sex, which was more likely to be unprotected when it occurred in a private home or hotel as opposed to a public setting (P < 0.001). Moreover, having UAI at home was a significant correlate of risk during the bathhouse visit (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Most men at the bathhouse engaged in oral sex rather than anal sex, and most anal sex included use of condoms. Furthermore, men were more likely to have UAI in a private home than in any public setting. The bathhouse seems to have facilitated condom use when anal sex occurred on-site


Woods, WJ., Binson, D., Blair, J., Han, L., Spielberg, F., & Pollack, LM. (2007). Probability sample estimates of bathhouse sexual risk behavior. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 45(2), 231-238.