British researchers say nearly half of the men who pay for sex already have a partner.
The scientists used survey data from a standard health screening questionnaire completed by more than 2,500 men at one British sexual health clinic from October 2002-February 2004.
One-in-10 of the men with an average age of 34 said they had paid for sex, with most saying they had paid for sex with women, and, of that number, more than half reported paying for sex while abroad.
Two-thirds said they had paid for sex during the preceding year and approximately one in four said they repeatedly used prostitutes. But the time frame ranged from two days to 30 years previously.
And 43 percent said they had a current partner when they had paid for the sexual encounter.
Although none of the men surveyed had HIV infection, 1-in-5 had a sexually transmitted infection, including gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and syphilis.
The researchers suggest the figures may be an underestimate of actual behavior, since some men might choose not to reveal whether they had paid for sex.
The study appears in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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