Sexual behavior research on a Cohort of gay men, 1984-1990: Can we predict how men will respond to interventions?

David G. Ostrow, Eugenio Beltran, Jill G Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In 1984, over 1000 gay and bisexual men volunteered to participate in both the Chicago Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and a companion psychosocial study, the Coping and Change Study (CCS). Participants in the semiannual Chicago MACS/CCS evaluations comprise the largest cohort of high-risk men under continuous medical, behavioral, and psychosocial observation. Chicago MACS/CCS researchers prospectively chart the sexual behavior change patterns of the cohort and relate those behavioral changes to psychosocial correlates and actual HIV infection risk. This report summarizes the behavioral natural history of the Chicago MACS/CCS cohort from 1984 to 1990, focusing on receptive anal sex practices and use patterns for alcohol and the most frequently used recreational drugs. As these are prospective observational and not controlled intervention studies, psychosocial correlates of sexual behavior change by members of the cohort are suggestive of factors influencing behavior change rather than indicative of causal relationships. However, the voluntary availability to participants in the Chicago MACS/CCS of HIV-1 antibody test results beginning in late 1985 provided the opportunity to examine whether demographic, psychosocial, or behavioral factors were indicators of sexual behavior change following disclosure and counseling about HIV-1 serostatus. Recommendations for promotion and maintenance of safer sexual behavior for the long run, and limitations in the generalizability of these findings to the much more diverse populations of men who have sex with other men conclude this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-552
Number of pages22
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • anal sex
  • behavior change
  • HIV testing
  • homosexual men
  • psychosocial predictors
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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