July 14, —A recent analysis of several HIV transmission studies found that the risk of contracting HIV through unprotected anal intercourse is eighteen times greater than for penile-vaginal intercourse. HIV prevention messages about anal intercourse tend to focus on men who have sex with men MSM , whose behavior in relation to anal sex has been more closely studied than that of heterosexuals. New work by amfAR fellow Dr. Marjan Javanbakht adds some significant detail to the scientific understanding of anal HIV transmission among heterosexuals, revealing that the prevalence of anal intercourse varies widely by race and ethnicity in the U. Among women, African American women report the lowest rates of anal intercourse 7. Heterosexual anal intercourse also occurs in association with other factors that place those who practice it at particularly high risk for transmitting and acquiring HIV.
Heterosexual Anal Sex: Implications for HIV Prevention
Heterosexual anal intercourse: an understudied, high-risk sexual behavior
Differences between heterosexuals who have or have not engaged in anal intercourse were analyzed. Though anal intercourse is widely recognized as an activity that greatly increases the risks for HIV transmission, it has received little attention in heterosexual populations. A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of university students, a population in which many people engage in vaginal intercourse with several partners each year. Regression analysis indicated that people who had participated in anal intercourse were more likely than people without anal experience to have been younger at first vaginal intercourse, to be older when the data were collected, to have engaged in vaginal intercourse in the last three months before data collection, to be more erotophilic, to use less effective contraceptive methods, and to have used no condom at last coitus. Overall, people who engage in anal intercourse take more sexual risks when engaging in vaginal intercourse than do people without anal experience.
Heterosexual Anal Intercourse: An Understudied, High-Risk Sexual Behavior
Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus , or anus and rectum , for sexual pleasure. While anal sex is commonly associated with male homosexuality , research shows that not all gay men engage in anal sex and that it is not uncommon in heterosexual relationships. As with most forms of sexual activity, anal sex participants risk contracting sexually transmitted infections STIs. Anal sex is considered a high-risk sexual practice because of the vulnerability of the anus and rectum. The anal and rectal tissues are delicate and do not provide lubrication like the vagina does , so they can easily tear and permit disease transmission, especially if a personal lubricant is not used.
This study used qualitative methods to assess why women engage in heterosexual anal receptive intercourse AI with a male partner. Four focus groups which comprised women from diverse ethnicities were conducted. All groups were digitally recorded for transcription; transcripts were analyzed using the methods of grounded theory to determine themes.