Nearly one in ten straight New Yorkers are having same sex relations, according to New York city health officials.

The survey was carried out in 2003 with the results published in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine.

Of the one in ten having same sex relations a surprising 70% of that group are married and less likely to use condoms or to have been tested for HIV than those who identify themselves as gay. ”Marital status isn’t necessarily an indicator of sexual behaviour,” said Dr. Susan Blank, assistant commissioner at the city Health Department.

Results from the survey indicate that the majority of secret trysts take place between men living outside of Manhattan, many are minorities, foreign-born or of low economic and educational status.

This report is the first time health experts have scientific evidence of what has been termed the ”down-low phenomenon”, in which supposedly straight men sleep with other men on the sly.