One in five gay men dating an HIV-negative partner have not been tested for HIV during their relationship, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers polled 275 male couples (for a total of 550 men) online, all of whom were 18 or older, U.S. residents and had had oral or anal sex with their partner during the three previous months. Couples in which one is HIV negative and the other positive, were not included.

Previous research has found that between one- and two-thirds of HIV transmissions in gay and bisexual men in the United States occur within the boundaries of a relationship.

Responding to the poll’s inquiry about frequency of HIV testing since entering into their current relationship, one in five men said they’d never been tested, 30 percent said they did so when they believed they were at risk for the virus, 29 percent reported an annual test and 21 percent said they were tested every three to six months.

When compared with those who had been tested during their current relationship, those who hadn’t tended to be younger, to be in a relationship that had not lasted as long, to be less educated and less likely to have an expressed agreement with their partner about having sex outside the relationship. Those men who never received an HIV test also said they had a greater degree of commitment to their partner and a higher level of trust and faith in him.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.