A new survey focused on gay and bisexual men who use apps such as Grindr, Scruff and Manhunt to meet sexual partners found that nearly half had engaged in unprotected sex.
Conducted by New York's Community Healthcare Network (CHN), "Zero Feet Away: Perpective on HIV/AIDS and Unprotected Sex in Men Who Have Sex With Men Utilizing Location-based Mobile Apps" found that although 80 percent of respondents said they were knowledgable in how the HIV virus was transmitted, 46.4 percent admitted to having bareback sex always, often or sometimes.
The most frequently-cited reason for barebacking among the 725 gay and bisexual men who were surveyed was "with condoms, [sex] does not feel the same." The poll reportedly received responses from men in Australia, South America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S.
"Clearly, we've come a long way in educating people about HIV and AIDS," Dr. Freddy Molano, Assistant Vice President of HIV Programs and Services at CHN, said in the report. "Yet among certain populations, HIV/AIDS is on the rise, and that's alarming."
Added co-author Renato Barucco: "The survey findings show a clear disconnect between the reasons why men engage in unprotected anal intercourse and the way prevention initiatives attempt to address risk behaviors."
See a selection of survey results below:
Almost half of respondents (46.4 percent) admitted to barebacking always, often or sometimes -- versus 53.6 percent who reportedly never engage in unprotected anal intercourse.
Respondents suggested several reasons for practicing unprotected sex, including, "With condoms it does not feel the same" (84.6 percent) and "Impulsive sexual behaviors" (73.8 percent).
Respondents were sufficiently knowledgable about HIV/AIDS, with 80.9 percent of respondents saying they know the virus was transmitted through "unprotected anal sex, vaginal sex and -- less frequently -- oral sex."
A majority felt that AIDS is a "somewhat serious" problem for people they know (52.5 percent) while 29.4 percent considered it to be a serious problem.
A majority of respondents (68.1 percent) were afraid to be infected or re-infected, believe people should be more concerned about the epidemic, and view it overall as a serious issue.
The vast majority of respondents considered barebacking (defined as unprotected anal sex) dangerous, and believed barebackers are informed of the risk.