Gay bathhouses were identified as public venues where men having sex with men are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. This study applied Binson and Woods's (Journal of Homosexuality, 44, 2003) theoretical framework of risk environment/bathhouse setting to (a) describe four domains of bathhouse environments, (b) investigate condom availability in bathhouses, and (c) identify barriers of condom distribution. An ethnographic study was conducted at eight gay bathhouses in Taiwan, including environmental observations, interviews of 16 staff members, and self-administered questionnaires of 409 bathhouse patrons. Condoms were provided upon request in eight bathhouses. Environmental observations showed a poor match between the places where condoms were distributed and where men had sex. Cost and police harassment were two barriers of condom distribution in bathhouses. Our findings highlight the importance of the extension of condom distribution at places where men have sex in gay bathhouses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases