The study took men from Vancouver, Canada and divided them into groups based on the number of sexual partners they had over the last six months.
Following that, they were asked about the “seroadapative strategies” – preventative strategies used among men to lower the risk of contracting sexually transmitted illnesses - they used.
Those with the most sexual partners were also the best at adopting strategies to prevent the transmission of sexual disease.
There were two main ways this was being done:
Condoms are the traditional way of preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Asking about your partner's "viral load"
Better communication about a partner’s viral load, which is the number of HIV virus particles per millilitre of blood, was a better strategy of protection.
Nathan Lachowksy, an author of the study told [CBC'sThe Early Edition]2:
I think we hear that time and time again... 'If people just reduce how many sex partners they have… but it really it only takes one partner and one sexual act to transmit any kind of STI.
I think we wanted to teach people that they could have sexually fully expressive lives and do so in ways that are safe for themselves and safe for their partners,” he added.
Myths have abounded about the apparent promiscuity of gay men and how the more promiscuous they are, the more at risk they are of HIV infection.
But this study goes against that common misconception, instead suggesting that gay and bi men who have more sexual partners are likely to take extra responsibility when it comes to safe sex.