Research on the association between health insurance coverage and sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM) is sparse. We hypothesized that MSM with health insurance would be less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior based on previous research showing that insured persons increase contact with providers which can improve health knowledge, decrease tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, and raise awareness about health risks. As part of a study testing an online HIV prevention intervention, we collected information on health insurance and sexual behavior from MSM (n=650). Overall, men with health insurance had a 28 % reduced prevalence of unprotected anal intercourse male partners in the 90 days prior to the survey. Potential explanations include access to health care providers and awareness of sexual health. Additional research is needed to identify the mechanism through which health insurance is protective.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Michael Oakes for his contribution to the appropriate statistical tests and reporting of results, Kathryn Nygaard for her contribution to the data cleaning, and Drs. Keith Horvath and Wendy Hellerstedt for their contribution to the report. This research was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (grant # 5R01-MH063688-05) and conducted under the oversight of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board (#0405S59661).
- Health behaviors
- Health insurance
- Men who have sex with men
- Sexual risk behavior