HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) has increased rapidly. MSM may play a bridging role in the spread of HIV and other STDs from the high-risk population to the general population. Interventions to reduce high-risk behavior are the key to controlling the spreading of HIV in the MSM population and the primary strategy for reducing the spread of AIDS in China. The purpose of the study was to examine the demographic characteristics of MSM, evaluate the HIV-related knowledge of MSM, and identify factors associated with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among MSM to make recommendations for future research.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 293 MSM in Fushun and Huludao City, China. A total of 91 participants (34.0%) reported engagement in UAI with a male partner during the previous six months. The results of univariate analysis showed that UAI was associated with older age, lower levels of education, less knowledge about HIV, and not receiving condoms, lubricant, peer education, AIDS counseling, STD checks, and informational materials (p<0.05). In a multivariate logistic regression model, awareness of the major HIV transmission routes (OR = 2.191; 95% CI: 0.869 to 5.524), receiving condoms (OR = 2.164; 95% CI: 1.149 to 4.076), receiving peer education (OR = 2.632; 95% CI: 1.566 to 4.426), and AIDS counseling (OR = 2.347; 95% CI: 1.260 to 4.372) were independently associated with a lower risk of UAI.
The study suggested that UAI could be decreased by improving education about AIDS, increasing the promotion of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), and improving the accessibility and convenience of service.
HIV prevalence is increasing at a concerning rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Numerous studies have reported on levels of behaviors of Chinese MSM for different types of sexual partnerships, such as regular, non-commercial casual and commercial. This study aims to investigate the trends HIV incidence rates in relation to their risk sexual behaviors and partnership types among Chinese MSM.
Through a comprehensive literature research from available English and Chinese literature databases, we collated relevant information of sexual behaviors of Chinese MSM. Further, with the utilization of a mathematical optimization approach, this study reconciles the distributions of sexual behavioral data over the last decade and infers the heterogeneous distributions of behavioral patterns among Chinese MSM. Distributions of high-risk behavioural indicators, including the number of sexual partners, number of sexual acts and condom usage in the past 6 months, are calibrated to available empirical data. Based on the resultant temporal trends in these distributions, the trends in HIV incidence rates associated with each type of partnership among MSM in China are also estimated.
A total of 55 qualified articles have been identified. An average MSM has approximately 0.96 (95% CI, 0.59-1.18) regular, 3.75 (1.72-6.25) casual and 1.61 (0.97-2.78) commercial partners over a 6 month period and 4.33 (2.81-6.46), 1.42 (0.62-3.08), 1.48 (0.79-3.30) sexual acts per partnership respectively, corresponding to a total of 11.87 (8.87-15.25) acts. Condom usage has increased significantly during 2002–2010, at annual increases of 3.58% (2.98-4.12%), 5.55% (4.55-6.54%), and 5.03% (4.19-5.74%) for regular, casual and commercial partners respectively. These behavioral data implies an increase in HIV incidence of approximately 3.3-fold, from 2.04 (1.96-2.12) to 7.02 (6.71-7.35) per 1000 person-years during the same period. The proportion of new infections attributed to regular partnerships increased from 34% to 40%, whereas infections attributed to commercial partnerships reduced from 29% to 23% during 2002–2010.
Regular partnerships are the main contributor of new HIV cases among MSM in China, public health intervention strategies are required to increase condom usage and HIV testing rates among regular partners to curb the growing trend HIV incidence.
Men who have sex with men; MSM; China; HIV; Incidence; Sexual behaviors
It is necessary to examine groups carrying out sexually risky behavior because the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is high among them. In this study, the prevalence of STDs among homosexuals and sex-buying men in South Korea was investigated, along with their sexual risk factors.
Men who have sex with men (MSMs, n=108) were recruited in Seoul and Busan by applying the time location sampling method, while sex-buying men (n=118) were recruited from a john school in Gyeonggi province, the suburbs of Seoul. Dependent variables included past or present infection with syphilis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and human immunodeficiency virus. Independent variables included health behavior, social support, sexual behavior, and safe sex.
It was found that when the MSMs were non-drunk while having sexual intercourse (odds ratio [OR], 0.132), they showed a higher STD infection rate when they had a higher number of anal sex partners (OR, 5.872), rarely used condoms (OR, 1.980), had lower self-efficacy (OR, 0.229), and were more anxious about becoming infected with an STD (OR, 3.723). However, the men who paid for sex showed high STD infections when they had more sex partners (OR, 2.286) and lower education levels (OR, 3.028).
STD infections among the two groups were high when they were engaged with many sex partners and not having protected sex. In other words, there was a gap in risky sex behavior within such groups, which was significantly related to the possibility of developing an STD. Therefore, the preventive intervention against STDs for these groups needs to be expanded to include management of sex behaviors.
Sexually transmitted diseases; Sexual behavior; Homosexuality; Prostitution; Korea
Information about risky sexual behavior among people living with HIV/AIDS is important to prevent the spread of the disease. Using an anonymous, self-administrated questionnaire, we surveyed 185 HIV-infected patients about risk behaviors at the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Croatia. Unprotected anal or vaginal sex in the preceding 6 months with partners of uninfected/unknown HIV status was reported by 20% of men who have sex with men (MSM), about half of whom reported multiple casual partners of unknown HIV status; 6% of heterosexual men; and 3% of women. Heterosexual patients were potentially more likely to expose regular partners to HIV but reported no risk behaviors with casual, non-concordant partners. MSM reported more risk behaviors, which were strongly associated with having ≥2 sexual partners in the last 6 months and both insertive and receptive anal sex. Educational interventions in Croatia should target MSM to prevent high rates of HIV transmission
Men who have sex with men; Risk factors; Condom use; Croatia; HIV
Research on the association between health insurance coverage and sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM) is sparse. We hypothesized that MSM with health insurance would be less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior based on previous research showing that insured persons increase contact with providers which can improve health knowledge, decrease tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, and raise awareness about health risks. As part of a study testing an online HIV prevention intervention, we collected information on health insurance and sexual behavior from MSM (n=650). Overall, men with health insurance had a 28% reduced prevalence of unprotected anal intercourse male partners (UAIMP) in the 90 days prior to the survey. Potential explanations include access to healthcare providers and awareness of sexual health. Additional research is needed to identify the mechanism through which health insurance is protective.
HIV; men who have sex with men; health insurance; sexual risk behavior; health behaviors
Among men who have sex with men (MSM), the number of newly diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections has increased by approximately 60% since 1999. Factors that may be contributing to this resurgence include a widely reported increase in bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM, as well as unsafe sexual practices.
This research was undertaken to learn more about risk behaviors associated with an incident STD among MSM.
A nested case-control study was conducted, using data from a cross-sectional Internet survey of MSM (N=2643), which investigated risk behaviors during a 6-month period in 2001. Chi-square and logistic regression methods were used to estimate the likelihood of acquiring an incident STD versus no STD.
Eighty-five percent of the respondents were white, 46% were under age 30, and 80% had met sex partners online; 7% were HIV-positive. Men with an incident STD were more likely than men without an STD to report drug use (crystal methamphetamine odds ratio 3.8; 95% confidence interval 2.1-6.7; cocaine OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.2-4.2; ecstasy OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.3-3.8; Viagra OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.2-3.7), alcohol before or during sex (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.2-2.9), and high-risk sexual behavior (unprotected anal intercourse OR 5.0; 95% CI 2.8-8.9; multiple sex partners OR 5.9; 95% CI 2.5-13.8). In the multivariate analysis, significant independent predictors associated with an incident STD were crystal methamphetamine use (adjusted OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.1-3.8), unprotected anal intercourse (adjusted OR 3.4; 95% CI 1.9-6.3), and 6 or more sex partners during the study period (adjusted OR 3.3; 95% CI 1.4-7.8).
Identifying and treating MSM who have STDs, or who are at increased risk for acquiring STDs, is crucial in preventing the further spread of disease. In addition, there is a need to integrate HIV/STD and substance use prevention and education into Web-based and community-based venues.
Internet; sexually transmitted diseases; methamphetamine; HIV
To examine the correlates for syphilis and the prevalence for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) in Beijing, China. A total of 541 MSM was recruited using peer-referral, community outreach, and Internet. Questionnaire-based interviews provided information including, demographics, sexual and other risk behaviors. HIV prevalence was 4.8%, syphilis 19.8%, HCV 0.4% and HBsAg 6.5%. The median number of lifetime male sex partners was ten. In the past 3 months, 20.7% drank alcohol ≥1 times per week. In the past month, 21.3 and 14.6% had unprotected anal intercourse with regular and casual male sex partners, respectively. Syphilis infection was associated with less education, alcohol use, finding male sex partners through bathhouses/public washrooms/parks, and diagnoses of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). Syphilis is now epidemic among Beijing's MSM. Prevention efforts are urgent as HIV prevalence is already near 5%. Education, condom promotion, STD control, and alcohol-related intervention are needed urgently.
China; Men who have sex with men; Syphilis; HIV; Sexually transmitted disease (STD); Risk behavior
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.
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) have been increasing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco. However, HIV incidence has stabilised.
To describe recent trends in sexual risk behaviour, STI, and HIV incidence among MSM in San Francisco and to assess whether increases in HIV serosorting (that is, selective unprotected sex with partners of the same HIV status) may contribute to preventing further expansion of the epidemic.
The study applies an ecological approach and follows the principles of second generation HIV surveillance. Temporal trends in biological and behavioural measures among MSM were assessed using multiple pre‐existing data sources: STI case reporting, prevention outreach programmatic data, and voluntary HIV counselling and testing data.
Reported STI cases among MSM rose from 1998 through 2004, although the rate of increase slowed between 2002 and 2004. Rectal gonorrhoea cases increased from 157 to 389 while early syphilis increased from nine to 492. UAI increased overall from 1998 to 2004 (p<0.001) in community based surveys; however, UAI with partners of unknown HIV serostatus decreased overall (p<0.001) among HIV negative MSM, and among HIV positive MSM it declined from 30.7% in 2001 to a low of 21.0% in 2004 (p<0.001). Any UAI, receptive UAI, and insertive UAI with a known HIV positive partner decreased overall from 1998 to 2004 (p<0.001) among MSM seeking anonymous HIV testing and at the STI clinic testing programme. HIV incidence using the serological testing algorithm for recent HIV seroconversion (STARHS) peaked in 1999 at 4.1% at the anonymous testing sites and 4.8% at the STI clinic voluntary testing programme, with rates levelling off through 2004.
HIV incidence among MSM appears to have stabilised at a plateau following several years of resurgence. Increases in the selection of sexual partners of concordant HIV serostatus may be contributing to the stabilisation of the epidemic. However, current incidence rates of STI and HIV remain high. Moreover, a strategy of risk reduction by HIV serosorting can be severely limited by imperfect knowledge of one's own and one's partners' serostatus.
men who have sex with men; sexual risk behaviour; sexually transmitted infections; HIV
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition and transmission.
This study aimed to investigate a potential area of focus for HIV prevention interventions by assessing the impact of sexual risk cognitions on sexual risk-taking among AI/AN MSM.
AI/AN MSM (N=173) from a national cross-sectional survey were analyzed.
Reporting more frequent sexual risk cognitions overall (high sexual risk cognitions) was associated with multiple HIV risk factors including unprotected anal intercourse and serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse. Participants with high sexual risk cognitions had a 2.3 (95% Confidence Interval: 1.1, 4.7) times greater odds of engaging in unprotected anal intercourse regardless of childhood sexual abuse, depression, and alcohol dependence. Most individual sexual risk cognitions were associated with unprotected anal intercourse, serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse, or both.
Results suggest that sexual risk cognitions may be a productive area for further work on HIV prevention among AI/AN MSM.
MSM; American Indian; Alaska native; HIV/AIDS; Sexual risk cognitions
It is well documented that injection drug users (IDUs) have a high prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV). Sexual transmission of HCV can occur, but studies have shown that men who have sex with men (MSM) without a history of injection drug use are not at increased risk for infection. Still, some health-care providers believe that all MSM should be routinely tested for HCV infection. To better understand the potential role of MSM in risk for HCV infection, we compared the prevalence of antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) in non-IDU MSM with that among other non-IDU n at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing sites in three cities.
During 1999–2003, public health STD clinics or HIV testing programs in Seattle, San Diego, and New York City offered counseling and testing for anti-HCV for varying periods to all clients. Sera were tested using enzyme immunoassays, and final results reported using either the signal-to-cutoff ratio or recombinant immunoblot assay results. Age, sex, and risk information were collected. Prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Anti-HCV prevalence among IDUs (men and women) was between 47% and 57% at each site, with an overall prevalence of 51% (451/887). Of 1,699 non-IDU MSM, 26 (1.5%) tested anti-HCV positive, compared with 126 (3.6%) of 3,455 other non-IDU men (prevalence ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.28, 0.64).
The low prevalence of anti-HCV among non-IDU MSM in urban public health clinics does not support routine HCV testing of all MSM.
The association between HIV treatment optimism—beliefs about susceptibility to transmit HIV, motivation to use condoms, and severity of HIV—and sexual risk behavior was examined among HIV-positive African American men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants were 174 men recruited in four major metropolitan areas of the United States to participate in a weekend HIV risk reduction intervention. Baseline results revealed that beliefs in less susceptibility to transmit HIV and less motivation to use condoms were significantly associated with more unprotected anal intercourse among serodiscordant casual partners. Less motivation to use condoms also predicted more unprotected insertive and receptive anal sex and was more important than susceptibility beliefs in predicting these behaviors. Suggestions are offered of ways to better inform HIV-positive African American MSM about their misperceptions about HIV treatment and how their level of optimism about HIV treatment may diminish or encourage condom use.
African American; HIV treatment optimism; condom use
While condom use is an effective barrier against HIV transmission, some men who have sex with men (MSM) engage in bareback sex (unprotected anal sex in risky contexts) and increase their risk for HIV (re)infection. Understanding MSM's decision to bareback (vis-à-vis condom use) is essential to develop effective HIV/AIDS prevention programs for this population.
An ethnically diverse sample of men who bareback (n=120) was recruited exclusively on the Internet and stratified to include two-thirds who reported both URAI and being HIV-uninfected. We use exploratory factor analysis to explore the domains within the DBB scale, and test the association between DBB and risky sexual behaviors.
HIV-positive MSM (n=31) reported higher costs/losses associated with condom use than HIV-negative men (n=89). We found two underlying factors in the DBB scale: a Coping with Social Vulnerabilities subscale (8 items; α = .89) and a Pleasure & Emotional Connection subscale (5 items; α = .92). We found a positive association between DBB (i.e. greater gains associated with bareback sex) and URAI occasions, number of partners, and having one or more serodiscordant partners in the past 3 months.
MSM may avoid using condoms in order to cope with psychosocial vulnerabilities and create intimacy with other MSM. This population could benefit from alternatives to condoms such as pre/post exposure prophylaxis and rectal microbicides.
Condom use; Bareback; MSM; decision-making; scale development
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.
To assess the prevalence of HIV infection and characteristically risk of factors which associated with HIV infection among MSM in Harbin, China.
A face-to-face questionnaire interview was conducted among 463 Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) who were recruited by the snowball sampling in Harbin from April, 2011 to July, 2011. The questionnaire mainly included demographics, AIDS knowledge, homosexual behavior and the status of intervention in MSM. Blood specimens were obtained and tested for the diagnoses of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Associations between above exposed factors and HIV infection were analyzed using a univariate analysis and forward stepwise logistic regression.
The prevalence of HIV and syphilis was 9.5 and 14.3%. The awareness rate of AIDS was 86.8%. The rate of unprotected sexual behavior was 57.6% of MSM during the past 6 months. The univariate analysis identified that the age (age≥35 years old), cohabitation, more than 10 years of homosexual behavior and more than 10 homosexual partners were risk factors which associated with the HIV infection, and that protected sex during the past 6 months was a protective factor for the HIV infection. The multivariate analysis identified that the duration of homosexual behavior and commercial sexual behavior were independent risk factors which associated with the HIV infection, and the protected sex during the past 6 months was a protective factor for the HIV infection.
The prevalence of HIV among MSM in Harbin has been rapidly increasing in the past few years. Targeted, tailored, and comprehensive interventions are urgently needed to prevent the HIV infection from MSM.
The Internet has become an increasingly popular venue for men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet potential sex partners. Given this rapid increase in online sex-seeking among MSM, Internet-based interventions represent an important HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) prevention strategy. Unfortunately, black and Hispanic MSM, who are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic in the United States, have been underrepresented in online research studies.
Our objective was to examine and quantify factors associated with underrecruitment and underretention of MSM of color in an online HIV behavioral risk research study of MSM recruited from an online social networking site.
Internet-using MSM were recruited through banner advertisements on MySpace.com targeted at men who reported in their MySpace profile their age as at least 18 and their sexual orientation as gay, bisexual, or unsure. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds stratified by race and ethnicity of the MySpace user clicking through the banner advertisement. To characterize survey retention, Kaplan-Meier survival curves and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models identified factors associated with survey dropout.
Over 30,000 MySpace users clicked on the study banner advertisements (click-through rate of 0.37%, or 30,599 clicks from 8,257,271 impressions). Black (0.36% or 6474 clicks from 1,785,088 impressions) and Hispanic (0.35% or 8873 clicks from 2,510,434 impressions) MySpace users had a lower click-through rate compared with white (0.48% or 6995 clicks from 1,464,262 impressions) MySpace users. However, black men had increased odds of click-through for advertisements displaying a black model versus a white model (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.72 - 1.95), and Hispanic participants had increased odds of click-through when shown an advertisement displaying an Asian model versus a white model (adjusted OR = 1.70, 95% CI 1.62 - 1.79). Of the 9005 men who consented to participate, 6258 (69%) completed the entire survey. Among participants reporting only male sex partners, black non-Hispanic and Hispanic participants were significantly more likely to drop out of the survey relative to white non-Hispanic participants (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.6, 95% CI 1.4 - 1.8 and HR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 - 1.4, respectively). Men with a college-level of education were more likely to complete the survey than those with a high-school level of education (HR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.7 - 0.9), while men who self-identified as heterosexual were more likely to drop out of the survey compared with men who self-identified as gay (HR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.1 - 3.7).
This analysis identified several factors associated with recruitment and retention of MSM in an online survey. Differential click-through rates and increased survey dropout by MSM of color indicate that methods to recruit and retain black and Hispanic MSM in Internet-based research studies are paramount. Although targeting banner advertisements to MSM of color by changing the racial/ethnic composition of the advertisements may increase click-through, decreasing attrition of these study participants once they are engaged in the survey remains a challenge.
HIV infections/prevention and control; Internet; homosexuality male; research methodology; behavioral research
HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM and heterosexual networks are distinguished by biologically determined sexual role segregation among heterosexual individuals but not MSM, and anal/vaginal transmissibility differences. To identify how much these biological and demographic differences could explain persistent disparities in HIV/sexually transmitted disease prevalence in the United States, even were MSM and heterosexual individuals to report identical numbers of unprotected sexual partnerships per year.
A compartmental model parameterized using two population‐based surveys. Role composition was varied between MSM and heterosexual subjects (insertive‐only and receptive‐only versus versatile individuals) and infectivity values.
The absence of sexual role segregation in MSM and the differential anal/vaginal transmission probabilities led to considerable disparities in equilibrium prevalence. The US heterosexual population would only experience an epidemic comparable to MSM if the mean partner number of heterosexual individuals was increased several fold over that observed in population‐based studies of either group. In order for MSM to eliminate the HIV epidemic, they would need to develop rates of unprotected sex lower than those currently exhibited by heterosexual individuals in the United States. In this model, for US heterosexual individuals to have a self‐sustaining epidemic, they would need to adopt levels of unprotected sex higher than those currently exhibited by US MSM.
The persistence of disparities in HIV between heterosexual individuals and MSM in the United States cannot be explained solely by differences in risky sexual behavior between these two populations.
human immunodeficiency virus type 1; homosexual men; heterosexuals; homosexual role segregation; mathematical epidemiology
HIV incidence is increasing among men who have sex with men (MSM) despite years of prevention education and intervention efforts. Whereas there has been considerable progress made in identifying risk factors among younger MSM, older MSM have been largely neglected. In particular, the role of alcohol and drug use in conjunction with sex has not been thoroughly studied in older MSM samples. This article reviews the small body of literature examining the association of substance abuse and risky sexual behavior in this population and provides a methodological critique of the reviewed studies. The data show that older MSM are engaging in risky sexual behavior, with the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual activities increasing with the use of alcohol and other drugs. Methodological limitations prevent strong conclusions regarding whether the sexual risk behaviors of older MSM differ from those of younger MSM, and the extent to which alcohol and drug use may differentially contribute to engagement in sexual risk-taking as a function of age. Future research is needed to clarify these associations.
MSM; Older; Substance use; Sexual risk
Few behavioral interventions have been conducted to reduce high-risk sexual behavior among HIV-positive Men who have Sex with Men (HIV+MSM). Hence, we lack well-proven interventions for this population.
Positive Connections is a randomized controlled trial (n=675 HIV+MSM) comparing the effects of two sexual health seminars – for HIV+MSM and all MSM – with a contrast prevention video arm. Baseline, 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-up surveys assessed important psychosexual variables and frequency of serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse (SDUAI).
At post-test, intentions to avoid transmission were significantly higher in the sexual health arms. However, SDUAI frequency decreased equally across all arms, from 15.0 at baseline to 11.5 at 18 months. HIV+MSM engaging in SDUAI at baseline were more likely to leave the study.
Tailoring interventions to HIV+MSM does not appear to increase the effectiveness of HIV prevention. A sexual health approach appears no more effective than video-based HIV prevention.
HIV+MSM; MSM; HIV prevention; behavioral interventions; unsafe sex; prevention for positives
Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This study was designed to explore sexual risk among MSM using community-based participatory research (CBPR). An academic-community partnership conducted nine focus groups with 88 MSM. Participants self-identified as African American/Black (n=28), Hispanic/Latino (n=33), white (n=21), and bi-racial/ethnic (n=6). Mean age was 27 (range 18–60) years. Grounded theory was used. Twelve themes related to HIV risk emerged, including low HIV and STD knowledge particularly among Latino MSM and MSM who use the Internet for sexual networking; stereotyping of African American MSM as sexually “dominant” and Latino MSM as less likely to be HIV infected; and the eroticization of “barebacking.” Twelve intervention approaches also were identified, including developing culturally congruent programming using community-identified assets; harnessing social media used by informal networks of MSM; and promoting protection within the context of intimate relationships. A community forum was held to develop recommendations and move these themes to action.
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected with HIV in the US. Limited event-specific data have been reported in Black MSM to help understand factors associated with increased risk of infection. Cross-sectional National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study data from 503 MSM who reported ≥1 male sexual partner in the past year in New York City (NYC) were analyzed. Case-crossover analysis compared last protected and last unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). A total of 503 MSM were enrolled. Among 349 tested for HIV, 18% were positive. Black MSM (N = 117) were more likely to test HIV positive and not know their HIV-positive status than other racial/ethnic groups. Case-crossover analysis of 208 MSM found that men were more likely to engage in protected anal intercourse with a first time partner and with a partner of unknown HIV status. Although Black MSM were more likely to have Black male partners, they were not more likely to have UAI with those partners or to have a partner aged >40 years. In conclusion, HIV prevalence was high among Black MSM in NYC, as was lack of awareness of HIV-positive status. Having a sexual partner of same race/ethnicity or older age was not associated with having UAI among Black MSM.
HIV infection; Sexual partnering; Black men who have sex with men; African American; Unprotected anal intercourse
To estimate the prevalence of HIV and syphilis and to assess the predictors of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, a community-based survey recruited MSM in 2005 through internet advertisement, community outreach, and peer referral. Demographic, sexual, and HIV risk behavioral information were collected. Serospecimens were tested for HIV and syphilis infections. Of the 526 participants, 3.2% were HIV-positive, 11.2% syphilis-positive, 50% and 43.3% had UAI with regular and casual sex partners, respectively. Participants practicing UAI with regular male partners were independently associated with lower monthly income (adjusted odds ratio-AOR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0–3.0) and encountering male sex partners at bathhouses, public washrooms, and parks (AOR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.0–4.9). Participants practicing UAI with casual male partners were associated with encountering male sex partners at bathhouses, publics washrooms, and park (AOR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.8–5.2) and more male sex partners having receptive anal intercourse (AOR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1–2.9), and was inversely associated with receiving money for sex with men (AOR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.2–0.7). Professional male sex workers were less likely to practice UAI in Beijing, suggesting the benefits of educational outreach to date. Further education, condom promotion, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections should be intensified urgently to combat the rising HIV epidemic among MSM in Beijing.
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
Among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Los Angeles County, methamphetamine use is associated with high rates of HIV prevalence and sexual risk behaviors. In four separate samples of MSM who differed in the range of their intensity of methamphetamine use, from levels of recreational use to chronic use to those for MSM seeking drug abuse treatment, the association between methamphetamine use and HIV infection increased as the intensity of use increased. The lowest HIV prevalence rate (23%) was observed among MSM contacted through street outreach who mentioned recent methamphetamine use, followed by MSM who used at least once a month for six months (42%), followed by MSM seeking intensive outpatient treatment (61%). The highest rate (86%) was observed among MSM seeking residential treatment for methamphetamine dependence. The interleaving nature of these epidemics calls for comprehensive strategies that address methamphetamine use and concomitant sexual behaviors that increase risk of HIV transmission in this group already at high risk. These and other data suggest that MSM who infrequently use methamphetamine may respond to lower intensity/lower cost prevention and early intervention programs while those who use the drug at dependence levels may benefit from high intensity treatment to achieve goals of reduced drug use and HIV-risk sexual behaviors.
Methamphetamine; HIV; MSM.
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