People who have unprotected anal sex outdoors are at high risk of HIV reinfections, research shows.

According to a medical study, those who have been tested HIV are still at risk of infection, the paper “describes sexual risk behaviours and HIV testing amongst men who cruise an urban public sex environment (PSE) in southern England.”

Data was collected using a cross-section of men from directly within the PSE, “The current sample reflects a highly sexually active population; almost one-third (31%) reported over 50 sex partners in the last year. However, just one-quarter (26%) reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with at least one partner outside of a ‘safer sexual strategy’.

“Almost 1 in 12 (7%) reported UAI within the PSE. Over two-thirds (71%) had had a named HIV test of whom 16% had tested HIV positive. Just one-third (34%) of negative/untested PSE users had tested within the previous 2 years,” J.S. Frankis and colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University report.

The authors added, “Positive men were significantly more likely to report unsafe sex within the PSE in the last year. PSE users report lower levels of UAI than men in the local gay community but higher HIV prevalence.”

“PSE-based UAI remains an HIV (re)infection risk. In concert,” concluded Mr Frankis, “these findings suggest the importance of in situ targeted health promotion to prevent PSE-based risks.”

The results were published in Aids Care (Cruising for sex: sexual risk behaviours and HIV testing of men who cruise, inside and out with public sex environments (PSE).