Gay community involvement and the sexual health behaviors of sexual minority men: A systematic review and directions for future research


AbstractConsiderable research has examined how involvement in gay-affiliated communities is associated with sexual health behaviors in sexual minority men (i.e., gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men), yet findings in this domain are often contradictory and inconclusive. This systematic review aimed to (a) synthesize the related empirical literature, and (b) identify potential factors driving inconsistent findings. Peer-reviewed publications were included if they contained quantitative data and at least one measure of the statistical association between gay community involvement and sexual health behavior. The search strategy was implemented in six databases and returned 6,409 articles, of which 86 met the inclusion criteria. There was considerable heterogeneity in how gay community involvement was assessed across studies. Although gay community involvement was consistently associated with greater engagement in protective behaviors across studies, the association between gay community involvement and risk behaviors appeared to depend on how gay community involvement was conceptualized and measured (e.g., nightlife involvement vs. political activism). Findings emphasize a need for studies that employ validated measures that reflect the multidimensional nature of gay community involvement, as well as research designs better suited to address the causal effects of community involvement on HIV/STI transmission and prevention.


Gibson LP, Kramer EB, Wrigley J, Probst M, Bryan AD




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV- population


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