The population of Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) and who are also injection drug users (IDUs) is understudied. We explored risk behaviors of MSM/IDUs compared with other male IDUs in 2 Mexican border cities.
In 2005, IDUs who had injected within the previous 30 days were recruited using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez. They underwent antibody testing for HIV, HCV, and syphilis and interviewer-administered surveys. Men were categorized as MSM if they reported ≥1 lifetime male partners. Logistic regression was used to compare MSM/IDUs with non-MSM/IDUs.
A third (31%) of 377 male IDUs were categorized as MSM (47% in Tijuana and 13% in Ciudad Juárez, P <0.01). Combined RDS-adjusted prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis C was 3% (95% CI: 1, 5) and 96%, (95% CI: 94, 99) respectively, while 17% (95% CI: 2, 36) of MSM and 8% (95% CI: 3, 12) of non-MSM tested positive for syphilis antibody. In multivariate logistic regression adjusted for site, MSM/IDUs were more likely than non-MSM/IDUs to have ever used inhalants (OR: 3.4; 95% CI: 1.8, 6.2) or oral tranquilizers (OR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3, 4.6), received treatment for a drug problem (OR:1.9; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.2) shared needles in the last six months (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.0, 4.2) and also had higher numbers of lifetime female partners (log-transformed continuous variable, OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.2, 2.1).
In these Mexican cities, the proportion of MSM among male IDUs was high. Compared with other male IDUs, MSM/IDUs were more likely to engage in behaviors placing them at risk of acquiring HIV/STIs. Culturally appropriate interventions targeting Latino MSM/IDUs are warranted.
HIV/AIDS in India disproportionately affects women, not by their own risks, but by those of their partners, generally their spouses. We address two marginalized populations at elevated risk of acquiring HIV: women who are married to men who also have sex with men (MSM) and wives of injection drug users (IDUs).
We used a combination of focus groups (qualitative) and structured surveys (quantitative) to identify the risks that high-risk men pose to their low-risk wives and/or sexual partners. Married MSM were identified using respondent-driven recruitment in Tamil Nadu, India, and were interviewed by trainer assessors. A sample of wives of injection drug users in Chennai were recruited from men enrolled in a cohort study of the epidemiology of drug use among IDUs in Chennai, and completed a face-to-face survey. Focus groups were held with all groups of study participants, and the outcomes transcribed and analyzed for major themes on family, HIV and issues related to stigma, discrimination and disclosure.
Using mixed-methods research, married MSM are shown to not disclose their sexual practices to their wives, whether due to internalized homophobia, fear of stigma and discrimination, personal embarrassment or changing sexual mores. Married MSM in India largely follow the prevailing norm of marriage to the opposite sex and having a child to satisfy social pressures. Male IDUs cannot hide their drug use as easily as married MSM, but they also avoid disclosure. The majority of their wives learn of their drug-using behaviour only after they are married, making them generally helpless to protect themselves. Fear of poverty and negative influences on children were the major impacts associated with continuing drug use.
We propose a research and prevention agenda to address the HIV risks encountered by families of high-risk men in the Indian and other low- and middle-income country contexts.
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for HIV infection in the United States compared to other MSM. The aim of this study was to investigate Black MSM’s sexual mixing patterns and partner characteristics in relation to sexual risk taking, as a possible explanation for this observed increase in HIV incidence. Between January and July 2008, 197 Black MSM were recruited via modified respondent-driven sampling and completed optional pretest and post-test HIV serological testing, counseling, and a demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial assessment battery. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression procedures were used to examine predictors of risky sex across partner types. Overall, 18% of the sample was HIV-infected; 50% reported unprotected intercourse with men, 30% with women, and 5% with transgender partners. Fifty-three percent identified as bisexual or straight, although all reported oral or anal sex with another man in the prior 12 months. Significant predictors of engaging in at least one episode of: (1) serodiscordant unprotected anal sex (UAS) with a male partner in the past 12 months: individuals at risk for social isolation (AOR = 4.23; p = 0.03), those with unstable housing (AOR = 4.19; p = 0.03), and those who used poppers at least weekly during sex (AOR = 5.90; p = 0.05); (2) UAS and/or unprotected vaginal intercourse with a female partner in the past 12 months: those with unstable housing (AOR = 4.85; p = 0.04), those who used cocaine at least weekly during sex (AOR = 16.78; p = 0.006), being HIV-infected (AOR = 0.07; p = 0.02), and feeling social norms favor condom use (AOR = 0.60; p = 0.05); (3) UAS with the participants’ most recent nonmain male sex partner: use of alcohol and drugs during last sex by participant (AOR = 4.04; p = 0.01), having sex with a Hispanic/Latino male (AOR = 2.71; p = 0.04) or a Black male (AOR = 0.50; p = 0.05) compared to a White male, and lower education (AOR = 1.31; p = 0.02). Findings suggest that sexual risk behaviors of Black MSM differ across partner type and by the characteristics of their sexual networks and that this subpopulation of MSM are at high risk for HIV acquisition and transmission. Effective prevention strategies need to address the distinct sexual and behavioral risk patterns presented by different sexual partnerships reported by Black MSM.
HIV/AIDS; STD; African American/Black; MSM; Prevention
The purpose of this study was to compare the social network characteristics of men who have sex with men (MSM) to non-MSM (NMSM) in a sample of predominately African American drug users. Specifically, we were interested in examining the differences in structure of the networks and drug and sexual risk partners within the network.
Data came from 481 male participants who reported having >=1 sex partner in the past 90 days. MSM was defined as having sex with a male. Data on social network composition were collected using a Social Network Inventory.
Of 481 men, 7% (n=32) were categorized as MSM. Nearly two-thirds of MSM did not identify as gay. MSM were more likely to be HIV positive as compared to men who did not have sex with men. Social networks of MSM were younger and a greater proportion were HIV positive. After adjusting for HIV status, networks of MSM were less dense, indicating fewer connections among network members. Among injection drug using men in the sample, MSM reported a greater number of needle sharing networks than NMSM.
These findings underscore the importance of including social network factors in investigations of HIV risk among MSM. Further studies should focus on dynamics within a network and how they may operate to affect behavior and health.
MSM; social networks; HIV
A growing body of literature suggests that men who have sex with men (MSM) represent a high risk group for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Africa, but are often overlooked in the development of HIV interventions and programming. Little attention has been paid to the presence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among MSM in African settings. This paper examines reporting of IPV among a sample of predominantly white, gay internet-recruited MSM in South Africa and examines associations between IPV and sexual risk-taking.
Internet-using MSM were recruited through selective placement of banner advertisements on Facebook.com. Eligibility criteria were over 18-years-old, residence in South Africa and self-reporting of recent male-male sexual behavior. There were 777 eligible respondents, of which 521 MSM with complete data are included in the final analysis. Ninety percent of the sample reported a White/ European race, and 96% self-identified as gay.
The prevalence of IPV, both experienced and perpetrated, was relatively high, with 8% of men reporting having experienced recent physical IPV and 4.5% of men reporting recent experiences of sexual IPV. Approximately 4.5% of MSM reported recently perpetrating physical IPV, while the reporting of perpetration of recent sexual IPV was much lower at 0.45%. Reporting of experiencing and perpetration of physical IPV was significantly associated with race, level of education and reporting recent unprotected anal sex. Reporting of experiencing recent sexual IPV was significantly associated with reported experiences of homophobia.
There is a limited amount of data on IPV within same-sex relationships in South Africa, and the results presented here suggest that the prevalence of IPV within this White/European and gay population is cause for concern. Collection of IPV data through surveys administered via social networking sites is feasible and represents a way of reaching otherwise marginalized population groups in IPV research; although in this instance Black Africans and MSM who did not identify as gay were severely under-represented.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at a substantial risk of HIV, given rising HIV prevalence in urban China. Adolescent and adult students often take HIV-related risk as part of sexual exploration. We compared the risks of HIV and syphilis infections and risky sexual behaviors between student and non-student among urban MSM.
Respondent driven sampling approach was used to recruit men who were self-identified as MSM in Chongqing Metropolitan City in southwestern China in 2009. Each participant completed a computer-assisted self-interview which collected demographic and behavioral data, and provided blood specimens for HIV and syphilis testing. Multivariable logistic regression analyses identified predictors for HIV and syphilis infections while comparing student and non-student MSM.
Among 503 MSM participants, 36.4% were students, of whom 84.2% were in college. The adjusted prevalence of HIV infection was 5.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.1%–10.2%) in students and 20.9% (95% CI: 13.7%–27.5%) in non-students; the adjusted prevalence of syphilis was 4.4% (95% CI: 0.7%–9.0%) in students and 7.9% (95% CI: 3.6%–12.9%) in non-students (P = 0.12). Two groups had similar risky sexual behaviors such as number of sexual partners and exchanging sex for money. Multivariate analysis showed that students had lower HIV prevalence than non-students (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.1–0.8) adjusting for age, ethnicity and other variables.
Student MSM have lower HIV and similar syphilis prevalence compared with non-student MSM. However, due to a shorter duration of sexual experience and high prevalence of at-risk sexual behaviors among student MSM, HIV risk might be quite high in students as in non-students.
This study evaluates associations between internalized homonegativity and demographic factors, drug use behaviors, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV status among men who have sex with men (MSM) and with men and women (MSM/W). Participants were recruited in Los Angeles County using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and completed the Internalized Homonegativity Inventory (IHNI) and questionnaires on demographic and behavioral factors. Biological samples were tested for HIV and for recent cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin use. The 722 MSM and MSM/W participants were predominantly African American (44%) and Hispanic (28%), unemployed (82%), homeless (50%), and HIV positive (48%) who used drugs in the past 6 months (79.5%). Total and Personal Homonegativity, Gay Affirmation, and Morality of Homosexuality IHNI scores were significantly higher for African American men than for other ethnicities, for MSM/W than for MSM, for recent cocaine users than for recent methamphetamine users, and for HIV-seronegative men than for HIV-seropositive men. Linear regression showed the Gay Affirmation scale significantly and inversely correlated with the number of sexual partners when controlling for effects of ethnicity/race and sexual identification, particularly for men who self-identified as straight. Highest IHNI scores were observed in a small group of MSM/W (n = 62) who never tested for HIV. Of these, 26% tested HIV positive. Findings describe ways in which internalized homophobia is a barrier to HIV testing and associated HIV infection and signal distinctions among participants in this sample that can inform targeted HIV prevention efforts aimed at increasing HIV testing.
Homophobia; Homonegativity; Drug abuse; Gay men; Bisexual men; HIV
In the last two decades, ‘concentrated epidemics’ of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have established in several high risk groups in Pakistan, including Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) and among men who have sex with men (MSM). To explore the transmission patterns of HIV infection in these major high-risk groups of Pakistan, 76 HIV samples were analyzed from MSM, their female spouses and children, along with 26 samples from a previously studied cohort of IDUs. Phylogenetic analysis of HIV gag gene sequences obtained from these samples indicated a substantial degree of intermixing between the IDU and MSM populations, suggesting a bridging of HIV infection from IDUs, via MSM, to the MSM spouses and children. HIV epidemic in Pakistan is now spreading to the female spouses and offspring of bisexual MSM. HIV control and awareness programs must be refocused to include IDUs, MSM, as well as bisexual MSM, and their spouses and children.
Studies have found that between 14% and 46% of US men who have sex with men (MSM) consistently report “barebacking” behavior (i.e., intentional unprotected anal intercourse) with other men. This is of public health significance because MSM continue to constitute more than 50% of new HIV infections in the USA. Men who self-identify as barebackers may represent a different and unique subset of MSM with distinct HIV prevention needs. In 2007, 227 HIV seronegative MSM recruited through modified respondent-driven sampling completed an interviewer-administered survey which assessed barebacker identity (i.e., personally identifying with the barebacker scene), demographics, sexual risk behaviors, psychosocial variables, and drug/alcohol use. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression procedures were used to examine predictors of barebacker identity in relation to HIV risk behavior. Overall, 31% of participants identified as a barebacker. In bivariate analyses, lower education (OR = 1.76; 95% CI = 0.99–3.13; p < 0.05), a current drinking problem (OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.29–4.23; p < 0.01), higher levels of HIV treatment optimism (OR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.01–1.12; p < 0.05), meeting sexual partners at private sex parties (OR = 2.47; 95% CI = 1.28–4.74; p < 0.01) or at bars/cubs (OR = 1.97; 95% CI = 1.10–3.52; p < 0.05), and engaging in serodiscordant unprotected insertive anal sex (OR = 3.42; 95% CI = 1.27–9.21; p < 0.01) significantly predicted barebacker identification compared to those with no barebacker identification. In a multivariable model, barebackers were more likely to screen in for alcohol abuse (adjusted OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.09–4.27; p < 0.05) and engage in serodiscordant unprotected insertive anal sex (adjusted OR = 3.17; 95% CI = 1.09–9.20; p < 0.05) compared to their non-barebacker counterparts. No significant differences were found in serodiscordant unprotected receptive anal sex between barebackers and non-barebackers. These findings suggest that barebacker identity is related to intentional HIV sexual risk taking and alcohol abuse. Furthermore, strategic positioning (i.e., engaging in insertive rather than receptive sex) might be associated with barebacker identification and may indicate a harm-reduction strategy being used among some HIV-uninfected MSM to reduce their risk of becoming infected. Additional research is warranted to understand the social identity of barebacking among MSM in order to develop more nuanced prevention strategies.
HIV/AIDS; STIs; MSM; Bareback; Prevention
The objective of this article was to examine drug and sexual risk in four salient groups of men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City (NYC): (1) nonhomeless young MSM (YMSM), (2) homeless YMSM, (3) adult MSM Speed users, and (4) HIV-positive “POZ Party” MSM. Lifetime and current exposure to drugs, drug injection, and selected drug–sex interactions are highlighted in each group. Data derive from recently completed field-based, ethnoepidemiological studies that used venue-oriented/targeted sampling and semistructured interviews. Across all four groups, findings show that both drug and sexual risk remain prevalent in the MSM population in NYC. This is especially troubling given the already high background prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in NYC and the widespread suffering and death already wrought by HIV/AIDS among MSM. These findings suggest that available public health interventions today are, in many respects, failing to reach, engage, and affect critical risk groups within the NYC MSM population.
Drug abuse; HIV; MSM; Sexual risk
The objective of this article was to examine drug and sexual risk in four salient groups of men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City (NYC): (1) nonhomeless young MSM (YMSM), (2) homeless YMSM, (3) adult MSM Speed users, and (4) HIV-positive “POZ Party” MSM. Lifetime and current exposure to drugs, drug injection, and selected drug-sex interactions are highlighted in each group. Data derive from recently completed field-based, ethnoepidemiological studies that used venue-oriented/targeted sampling and semistructured interviews. Across all four groups, findings show that both drug and sexual risk remain prevalent in the MSM population in NYC. This is especially troubling given the already high background prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in NYC and the widespread suffering and death already wrought by HIV/AIDS among MSM. These findings suggest that available public health interventions today are, in many respects, failing to reach, engage, and affect critical risk groups within the NYC MSM population.
Drug abuse; HIV; MSM; Sexual risk
Drug-using men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV infection. Efforts to change behaviors in this population have been hampered by difficulties in recruiting drug-using MSM into behavioral interventions. This study sought to develop an effective strategy for recruiting drug-using MSM into behavioral interventions that consist of motivational interviewing alone or motivational interviewing plus contingency management. MSM were recruited through advertising and community outreach into groups to discuss party drugs, party burnout, and sexual behavior, with the intervention subsequently described and enrollment offered in the group setting. Many more eligible MSM responded to advertisements for the discussion groups than advertisements for the interventions, and 58% of those who participated in the discussion groups volunteered for counseling. Men who entered counseling reported high levels of drug use and sexual activity and were racially and ethnically diverse; only 35% were willing to accept drug treatment. Results demonstrate that a two-stage strategy in which drug-using MSM are first recruited into discussion groups before they are offered a behavioral intervention can be an effective way to induce voluntary acceptance of an intervention employing a behavioral risk-reduction approach.
Contingency management; Gay and bisexual men; Health services marketing; Illicit drugs; Motivational interviewing; Sexual risk behaviors
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for HIV infection. MSM in Central Asia, however, are not adequately studied to assess their risk of HIV transmission. Methods: This study used respondent driven sampling methods to recruit 400 MSM in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, into a cross-sectional study. Participation involved a one-time interviewer-administered questionnaire and rapid HIV screening test. Prevalence data were adjusted for respondent network size and recruitment patterns. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate the association between HIV and selected risk factors, and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) and selected risk factors.
After respondent driven sampling (RDS) weighted analysis, 20.2% of MSM were HIV-positive, and 69.0% had unprotected sex with at least one male partner in the last 12 months. Regression analysis showed that HIV infection was associated with unprotected receptive anal sex (AOR: 2.00; 95% CI: 1.04–3.84). Having unprotected anal intercourse with male partners, a measure of HIV risk behaviors, was associated with being single (AOR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.23–0.64); very difficult access to lubricants (AOR: 11.08; 95% CI: 4.93–24.91); STI symptoms (AOR: 3.45; 95% CI: 1.42–8.40); transactional sex (AOR: 3.21; 95% CI: 1.66–6.22); and non-injection drug use (AOR: 3.10; 95% CI: 1.51–6.36).
This study found a high HIV prevalence among MSM in Almaty, and a population of MSM engaging in multiple high-risk behavior in Almaty. Greater access to HIV education and prevention interventions is needed to limit the HIV epidemic among MSM in Almaty.
We investigated the impact of recruitment bias within the venue-based sampling (VBS) method, which is widely used to estimate disease prevalence and risk factors among groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), that congregate at social venues.
In a 2008 VBS study of 479 MSM in New York City, we calculated venue-specific approach rates (MSM approached/MSM counted) and response rates (MSM interviewed/MSM approached), and then compared crude estimates of HIV risk factors and seroprevalence with estimates weighted to address the lower selection probabilities of MSM who attend social venues infrequently or were recruited at high-volume venues.
Our approach rates were lowest at dance clubs, gay pride events, and public sex strolls, where venue volumes were highest; response rates ranged from 39% at gay pride events to 95% at community-based organizations. Sixty-seven percent of respondents attended MSM-oriented social venues at least weekly, and 21% attended such events once a month or less often in the past year. In estimates adjusted for these variations, the prevalence of several past-year risk factors (e.g., unprotected anal intercourse with casual/exchange partners, ≥5 total partners, group sex encounters, at least weekly binge drinking, and hard-drug use) was significantly lower compared with crude estimates. Adjusted HIV prevalence was lower than unadjusted prevalence (15% vs. 18%), but not significantly.
Not adjusting VBS data for recruitment biases could overestimate HIV risk and prevalence when the selection probability is greater for higher-risk MSM. While further examination of recruitment-adjustment methods for VBS data is needed, presentation of both unadjusted and adjusted estimates is currently indicated.
Prior research focusing on men who have sex with men (MSM) conducted in Buenos Aires, Argentina, used convenience samples that included mainly gay identified men. To increase MSM sample representativeness, we used Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) for the first time in Argentina. Using RDS, under certain specified conditions, the observed estimates for the percentage of the population with a specific trait are asymptotically unbiased. We describe, the diversity of the recruited sample, from the point of view of sexual orientation, and contrast the different subgroups in terms of their HIV sexual risk behavior.
500 MSM were recruited using RDS. Behavioral data were collected through face-to-face interviews and Web-based CASI.
In contrast with prior studies, RDS generated a very diverse sample of MSM from a sexual identity perspective. Only 24.5% of participants identified as gay; 36.2% identified as bisexual, 21.9% as heterosexual, and 17.4% were grouped as “other.” Gay and non-gay identified MSM differed significantly in their sexual behavior, the former having higher numbers of partners, more frequent sexual contacts and less frequency of condom use. One third of the men (gay, 3%; bisexual, 34%, heterosexual, 51%; other, 49%) reported having had sex with men, women and transvestites in the two months prior to the interview. This population requires further study and, potentially, HIV prevention strategies tailored to such diversity of partnerships. Our results highlight the potential effectiveness of using RDS to reach non-gay identified MSM. They also present lessons learned in the implementation of RDS to recruit MSM concerning both the importance and limitations of formative work, the need to tailor incentives to circumstances of the less affluent potential participants, the need to prevent masking, and the challenge of assessing network size.
An understanding of men’s motivations to avoid risk behavior is needed to create efficacious HIV prevention programs for HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). This study investigates the relationship between sexual risk behavior and HIV prevention altruism, which is defined as the values, motivations, and practices of caretaking towards one’s sexual partners to prevent the transmission of HIV. In a sample of 637 HIV-positive MSM, HIV prevention altruism significantly protects against serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse (SDUAI) in crude analysis, but not after adjustment for drug use and compulsive sexual behavior. HIV prevention altruism is also related to avoidance of anal sex, but is not related to serodisclosure to secondary partners. Lack of altruism appears related to sexual risk behavior in HIV-positive MSM, although other psychological and contextual factors play significant roles. The promotion of HIV prevention altruism may provide a formidable new direction for HIV prevention programs.
altruism; MSM; HIV-positive; prevention
Recent studies among men who have sex with men (MSM) have found that the majority of HIV transmission results from sex with a main partner. One factor likely to affect the risk of transmission is the type of agreements the couple has regarding sexual behaviour within and outside the relationship. This study recruited 732 Internet-using MSM through Facebook banner ads. Participants completed an online questionnaire regarding demographic characteristics of the respondent and their main partner, the sexual behaviour of the couple, the existence of a sexual agreement, and the strength of investment in that agreement. The Pearson chi-square test was used to assess the association between sexual agreements (categorized as open, closed, or none) and the predictive variables. Respondents’ investment in their sexual agreement was measured using the sexual agreement investment scale (a composite score ranging from 0 to 52). Ninety-one percent of respondents had some form of sexual agreement in place with their main partner. The presence and type of sexual agreement was found to be strongly associated with many characteristics of the individual and couple, including the respondent’s HIV status, length of time with the main partner, having unprotected anal intercourse with a man other than their main partner, and happiness in the relationship. Increases in the strength of respondents’ investment in their sexual agreement were found to be associated with newness of the relationship, relationship happiness, having a closed relationship, and decreases in risky sexual behaviour. This study offers further evidence of the important role that sexual agreements play in male couples. The overwhelming prevalence of sexual agreements and their association with relationship happiness and risky sexual behaviours has important implications for future HIV prevention and control strategies, including the implementation of couples voluntary counseling and testing.
sexual agreements; MSM couples; agreement investment; HIV; CVCT
Little is known about the health status of rural immigrant Latino men who have sex with men (MSM). These MSM comprise a subpopulation that tends to remain “hidden” from both researchers and practitioners. This study was designed to estimate the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, and sexual risk behaviors of Latino MSM living in rural North Carolina.
A community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership used respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to identify, recruit, and enroll Latino MSM to participate in an interviewer-administered behavioral assessment. RDS weighted prevalence of risk behaviors was estimated using the RDS Analysis Tool. Data collection occurred in 2008.
A total of 190 Latino MSM was reached; the average age was 25.5 years old and nearly 80% reported being from Mexico. Prevalence estimates of smoking everyday and past 30-day heavy episodic drinking were 6.5% and 35.0%, respectively. Prevalence estimates of past 12-month marijuana and cocaine use were 56.0% and 27.1%, respectively. Past 3-month prevalence estimates of sex with at least one woman, multiple male partners, and inconsistent condom use were 21.2%, 88.9%, and 54.1%, respectively.
Respondents had low rates of tobacco use and club drug use, and high rates of sexual risk behaviors. Although this study represents an initial step in documenting the health risk behaviors of immigrant Latino MSM who are part of a new trend in Latino immigration to the southeastern US, a need exists for further research, including longitudinal studies to understand the trajectory of risk behavior among immigrant Latino MSM.
epidemiology; health disparities; health promotion; sexual behavior; substance abuse
Uganda's generalized HIV epidemic is well described, including an estimated adult male HIV prevalence in Kampala of 4.5%, but no data are available on the prevalence of and risk factors for HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM).
From May 2008 to February 2009, we used respondent-driven sampling to recruit MSM ≥18 years old in Kampala who reported anal sex with another man in the previous three months. We collected demographic and HIV-related behavioral data through audio computer-assisted self-administered interviews. Laboratory testing included biomarkers for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. We obtained population estimates adjusted for the non-random sampling frame using RDSAT and STATA. 300 MSM were surveyed over 11 waves; median age was 25 years (interquartile range, 21–29 years). Overall HIV prevalence was 13.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.9%–20.1%), and was higher among MSM ≥25 years (22.4%) than among MSM aged 18–24 years (3.9%, odds ratio [OR] 5.69, 95% CI 2.02–16.02). In multivariate analysis, MSM ≥25 years (adjusted OR [aOR] 4.32, 95% CI 1.33–13.98) and those reporting ever having been exposed to homophobic abuse (verbal, moral, sexual, or physical abuse; aOR 5.38, 95% CI 1.95–14.79) were significantly more likely to be HIV infected.
MSM in Kampala are at substantially higher risk for HIV than the general adult male population. MSM reporting a lifetime history of homophobic abuse are at increased risk of being HIV infected. Legal challenges and stigma must be overcome to provide access to tailored HIV prevention and care services.
The dual risks of male-to-male sex and drug injection have put men who have sex with men and inject drugs (MSM-IDU) at the forefront of the HIV epidemic, with the highest rates of infection among any risk group in the United States. This study analyzes data collected from 357 MSM-IDU in San Francisco between 1998 and 2002 to examine how risk behaviors differ by HIV serostatus and self-identified sexual orientation and to assess medical and social service utilization among HIV-positive MSM-IDU. Twenty-eight percent of the sample tested HIV antibody positive. There was little difference in risk behaviors between HIV-negative and HIV-positive MSM-IDU. Thirty percent of HIV-positive MSM-IDU reported distributive syringe sharing, compared to 40% of HIV negatives. Among MSM-IDU who reported anal intercourse in past 6 months, 70% of positives and 66% of HIV negatives reported unprotected anal intercourse. HIV status varied greatly by self-identified sexual orientation: 46% among gay, 24% among bisexual, and 14% among heterosexual MSM-IDU. Heterosexual MSM-IDU were more likely than other MSM-IDU to be homeless and to trade sex for money or drugs. Gay MSM-IDU were more likely to have anal intercourse. Bisexual MSM-IDU were as likely as heterosexual MSM-IDU to have sex with women and as likely as gay-identified MSM-IDU to have anal intercourse. Among MSM-IDU who were HIV positive, 15% were currently on antiretroviral therapy and 18% were currently in drug treatment, and 87% reported using a syringe exchange program in the past 6 months. These findings have implications for the development of HIV interventions that target the diverse MSM-IDU population.
MSM; Injection drug user; Methamphetamine; HIV; Epidemiology; MSM-IDU; Sexual risk
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are the largest HIV risk-group in the United States. Sexual concurrency may contribute to high HIV incidence, or to racial/ethnic HIV disparities among MSM. Limited information is available on concurrency and racial/ethnic differences among MSM, or on the extent to which MSM engage in concurrent unprotected anal intercourse (UAI).
Data are from baseline responses in a prospective online study of MSM aged ≥ 18 years, having ≥ 1 male sex partner in the past 12 months, and recruited from social networking websites. Pair-wise sexual concurrency and UAI in the previous 6 months among up to 5 recent partners was measured, using an interactive questionnaire. Period prevalences of concurrency and concurrent UAI were computed and compared across racial/ethnic groups at the individual and triad (a respondent and 2 sex partners) levels.
2,940 MSM reported on 8,911 partnerships; 45% indicated concurrent partnerships and 16% indicated concurrent UAI in the previous 6 months. Respondents were more likely to have UAI with two partners when they were concurrent, compared to serially monogamous (OR [95% CI] = 1.93 [1.75, 2.14]). No significant differences in levels of individual concurrency or concurrency among triads were found between non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic men.
Concurrency and concurrent UAI in the previous 6 months was common. Although there were no differences by race/ethnicity, the high levels of concurrency and concurrent UAI may be catalyzing the transmission of HIV among MSM in general.
Concurrency; MSM; sexual networks; UAI; racial disparities
A comparison of risks for the secondary transmission of HIV between young HIV-infected women-who-have-sex-with-men (WSM) and men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) found that recent partner-specific sexual risk behaviors are high among both populations. However, differences in the specific behaviors between WSM and MSM support population-specific interventions to reduce the secondary transmission of HIV.
Secondary transmission remains a significant concern among HIV-infected youth. Little is known, however, about how partner-specific sexual risk behaviors for the secondary transmission of HIV may differ between the two largest subgroups of HIV positive youth, women-who-have-sex-with-men (WSM) and men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM),
During 2003-2004, a convenience sample of HIV-infected youth, 13-24 years of age, were recruited from 15 Adolescent Medicine Trials Network clinical sites. Approximately 10-15 youth were recruited at each site. Participants completed an ACASI survey including questions about sex partners in the past year. Cross-sectional data analyses, including bivariate and multivariable regressions using generalized estimating equations, were conducted during 2008 to compare recent partner-specific sexual risk behaviors between WSM and MSM.
Of 409 participants, 91% (371) were included in this analysis, including 176 WSM and 195 MSM. Ninety-two percent (163 WSM, 177 MSM) provided information on characteristics of their sexual partners. There were significant differences between the two groups in recent partner-specific sexual risk behaviors including: lower rates of condom use at last sex among WSM (61% WSM vs. 78% MSM; p=0.0011); a larger proportion of the sex partners of MSM reported as concurrent (56% MSM vs. 36% WSM; p=0.0001); and greater use of hard drugs at last sex by MSM and/or their partner (18% MSM vs. 4% WSM; p=0.0008). When measuring risk as a composite measure of sexual risk behaviors known to be associated with HIV transmission, both groups had high rates of risky behaviors, 74.7% among young MSM compared to 68.1% of WSM.
These data suggest that recent partner-specific sexual risk behaviors for HIV transmission are high among young infected MSM and WSM. These findings suggest the need to offer interventions to reduce the secondary transmission of HIV to all HIV-positive youth in care. However, differences in risk behaviors between young MSM and WSM supports population-specific interventions.
Advances in communication technology may affect networking pattern, thereby influencing the dynamics of sex partnership. The aim of the study is to explore the impacts of partner sourcing through internet and related channels on exposure risk to sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV.
Using venue-based sampling, a cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted at saunas frequented by men having sex with men (MSM) in Hong Kong. Comparison was made between MSM sourcing partners through physical venues alone versus concomitant users of physical and virtual channels, the latter referring to internet and smart-phone applications, using bivariate logistic regression.
Over a 7-week study period, 299 MSM were recruited from 9 saunas. Three main types of sex partners were distinguished: steady (46.8%), regular (26.4%) and casual (96.0%) partners. Users of sauna (n = 78) were compared with concomitant users of saunas and virtual channels (n = 179) for partner sourcing. Sauna-visiting virtual channel users were younger and inclined to use selected physical venues for sourcing partners. Smart-phone users (n = 90) were not different from other internet-users in terms of age, education level and single/mixed self-identified body appearance. Classifying respondents into high risk and low risk MSM by their frequency of condom use, concomitant use of both sauna and virtual channels accounted for a higher proportion in the high risk category (71.6% vs. 58.2%, OR = 1.81, p<0.05). In virtual channel users, partner sourcing through smart-phone was not associated with a higher practice of unprotected sex.
MSM sauna customers commonly use virtual channels for sex partner sourcing. Unprotected sex is more prevalent in sauna customers who use virtual channel for sex partner sourcing. While the popularity of smart-phone is rising, its use is not associated with increased behavioural risk for HIV/STI transmission.
The men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) population has become one of the major risk groups for HIV-1 infection in the Asia Pacific countries. Hong Kong is located in the centre of Asia and the transmission history of HIV-1 subtype B transmission among MSM remained unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the transmission dynamics of HIV-1 subtype B virus in the Hong Kong MSM population. Samples of 125 HIV-1 subtype B infected MSM patients were recruited in this study. Through this study, the subtype B epidemic in the Hong Kong MSM population was identified spreading mainly among local Chinese who caught infection locally. On the other hand, HIV-1 subtype B infected Caucasian MSM caught infection mainly outside Hong Kong. The Bayesian phylogenetic analysis also indicated that 3 separate subtype B epidemics with divergence dates in the 1990s had occurred. The first and latest epidemics were comparatively small-scaled; spreading among the local Chinese MSM while sauna-visiting was found to be the major sex partner sourcing reservoir for the first subtype B epidemic. However, the second epidemic was spread in a large-scale among local Chinese MSM with a number of them having sourced their sex partners through the internet. The epidemic virus was estimated to have a divergence date in 1987 and the infected population in Hong Kong had a logistic growth throughout the past 20 years. Our study elucidated the evolutionary and demographic history of HIV-1 subtype B virus in Hong Kong MSM population. The understanding of transmission and growth model of the subtype B epidemic provides more information on the HIV-1 transmission among MSM population in other Asia Pacific high-income countries.
Men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly black MSM, are disproportionally infected with HIV. Little is known about how discussion of HIV status between partners varies among MSM by race/ethnicity, and by HIV transmission risk. Among a national survey of 2,031 MSM reporting 5,410 partnerships, black MSM, especially black HIV-positive MSM, serodiscussed with UAI partners less than did white MSM. Although non-black HIV-positive, non-black HIV-negative MSM, and black HIV-negative MSM were more likely to report serodiscussion with UAI partners, black HIV-positive MSM were not. Differential serodiscussion may play a role in explaining the racial/ethnic disparity in HIV incidence.