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Viagra (Sildenafil) Use in a Population-Based Sample of U.S. Men Who Have Sex With Men

Paul, Jay P. PhD; pollack, Lance PhD; Osmond, Dennis PhD; Catania, Joseph A. PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000175294.76494.77

Objective/Goal: The objective of this study was to examine sildenafil (Viagra) use and its relationship to sexual risk behavior for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Study: A population-based telephone sample of MSM in San Francisco was interviewed about sexual behavior, substance use, HIV and health status, and demographic characteristics.

Results: Recent Viagra use was reported by 29% of the sample and was associated with HIV serostatus, greater numbers of male sexual partners, higher levels of unprotected anal sex, and higher levels of illicit recreational drug use. Viagra use was not associated with age, race, or socioeconomic status.

Conclusions: Viagra use appears to have become a stable fixture of the sexual culture of MSM, crossing age, race, and socioeconomic subgroups. Its use is associated with a general behavioral risk pattern for HIV/STD transmission.

A population-based study of men who have sex with men in San Francisco found widespread (29%) recent sildenafil (Viagra) use associated with HIV seropositivity, recreational drug use, and sexual risk.

From the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California

The authors thank Johnny Blair of the University of Maryland Survey Research Center for his input into the design of the sampling frame and Westat Corporation for conducting the phone survey, collecting the study data, and developing the sample weights.

This research was supported by NIMH grant MH-54320.

Correspondence: Jay P. Paul, PhD, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 74 New Montgomery St., Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94105. E-mail:

Received for publication October 21, 2004, and accepted January 20, 2005.

© Copyright 2005 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association