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How black heterosexual men's narratives about sexual partner type and condom use disrupt the main and casual partner dichotomy: 'we still get down, but we not together'.

Authors
  • Bowleg, Lisa1
  • Massie, Jenné S1
  • Holt, Sidney L2
  • Heckert, Andrea2
  • Teti, Michelle3
  • Tschann, Jeanne M4
  • 1 Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
  • 2 Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.
  • 3 Department of Health Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
  • 4 Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
23
Issue
1
Pages
1–18
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1683228
PMID: 32037967
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sexual partner types and partnership dynamics have important implications for condom use. Yet most HIV prevention research conceptualises condom use as individual-level rather than dyadic-level behaviour. Evidence of a generalised HIV epidemic in urban predominantly low-income US Black heterosexual communities highlights the need for a culturally and contextually-grounded understanding of partner types, partnership dynamics and condom use from the perspective of Black heterosexual men. We conducted individual interviews with 30 self-identified men between the ages of 18 and 44, 18 (60%) of whom reported at least two partner types in the last 6 months. Key findings include: (1) 'main and casual' partner types per the HIV prevention literature; (2) three casual-partner subtypes: primary, recurrent, and one-time casuals; (3) overlapping partnership dynamics between main partners, primary-casual partners and recurrent-casual partners, but not one-time casual partners; and (4) consistent condom use reported for one-time casual partners only. The study underscores the critical need for more condom promotion messages and interventions that reflect the dyadic and culturally-grounded realities of US Black heterosexual men's sexual partner types and partnership dynamics.

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