HIV/AIDS In The Lives Of Gay And Bisexual Men In The United States

The Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Gay and Bisexual Men on HIV was designed and analyzed by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), and was conducted July 17-August 3, 2014, among a nationally representative sample of 431 men ages 18 and older who self-identified as gay or bisexual. The survey was funded by M·A·C AIDS Fund. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using GfK’s KnowledgePanel, an online research panel. KnowledgePanel members are recruited through probability sampling methods and include both those with internet access and those without (KnowledgePanel provides internet access for those who do not have it and, if needed, a device to access the internet when they join the panel). A combination of random digit dialing (RDD) and address-based sampling (ABS) methodologies have been used to recruit panel members (in 2009 KnowledgePanel switched its sampling methodology for recruiting panel members from RDD to ABS). The panel comprises households with landlines and cellular phones, including those with only cell phones, and those without a phone. Both the RDD and ABS samples were provided by Marketing Systems Group (MSG). KnowledgePanel continually recruits new panel members throughout the year to offset panel attrition as people leave the panel.

Panel members complete an annual profile survey that includes a range of demographic, attitudinal and behavioral questions, including questions about sexual orientation. Men who identified as gay or bisexual on the profile survey were eligible for the KFF survey sample and were sent an invitation to complete the survey. Respondents were asked to reconfirm their sexual orientation using the following question: Do you consider yourself to be 1) Heterosexual or straight, 2) Gay, 3) Bisexual, 4) Other? Men who had previously identified as gay or bisexual but selected something other than one of these options in the screening interview were asked: In an earlier survey, you identified as gay/bisexual. Do you still consider yourself to be gay/bisexual, or not? The vast majority of respondents in the final sample (97 percent) re-confirmed their identity as gay or bisexual on the first question, and 3 percent reconfirmed on the second question. Respondents who did not reconfirm as gay or bisexual on either question were thanked for their time and told that the interview was over.

The survey data were weighted to be representative of gay and bisexual men nationwide. Weighting took place in several stages. First, all members of the panel carry a weight designed to produce a nationally representative sample of the U.S. adult population. This weight matches gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income, homeownership status, metropolitan area, and Internet access to parameters from the March 2013 Supplement of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS).1

In the second stage, the sample of gay and bisexual men was weighted to match known national parameters where available, and to match the full sample of panel members who identify as gay and bisexual men on characteristics for which no national parameters are available. The sample was weighted using an iterative technique to match age, race/ethnicity, region, and education to parameters for gay and bisexual men from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and to match primary language, Internet access, metropolitan area, and household income to targets derived from the weighted sample of all gay and bisexual men in the panel.

Margins of sampling error and tests of statistical significance take into account the effect of weighting at each of these stages. The margin of sampling error including the design effect for the full sample of 431 gay and bisexual men is plus or minus 7 percentage points. Numbers of respondents and margin of sampling error for key subgroups are shown in the table below. For results based on other subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher. Sample sizes and margin of sampling errors for other subgroups are available by request. Note that sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll.

Group N (unweighted) M.O.S.E.
Total gay and bisexual men 431 ±7 percentage points
Gay 299 ±8 percentage points
Bisexual 132 ±12 percentage points
Racial/ethnic minorities 142 ±12 percentage points
Whites 289 ±8 percentage points
Ages 18-34 101 ±12 percentage points
Ages 35 and over 330 ±8 percentage points

Some of the same questions that were asked on the Survey of Gay and Bisexual Men on HIV were also asked of the general public as part of the July 2014 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, a nationally representative telephone survey. More detail on that survey’s methodology, along with the full question wording and results, are available at


Section 6: Some Key Characteristics Of Gay And Bisexual Men

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.