Among people who work abroad, sexual activity and therefore the risk of HIV infection appear to be relatively high. Little is known about the factors that influence sexual conduct when staying abroad, separated from their usual social environment. This is why 55 expatriates who had been sexually active in AIDS endemic areas were selected for an in-depth interview from the original sample of 864 Dutch expatriates participating in a study on sexual behaviour and HIV infection. The social and cultural context in which the sexual contacts took place was addressed in these interviews. Qualitative analysis of the data led to the identification of four styles with regard to the meaning of and motivations for having sex abroad: 'the unprepared', 'the fanatical', 'the unaffected' and 'the slightly accessible'. These styles are described separately and attention is paid to the association of these styles with protection behavior.
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