Condom use problems are common amongst Scotland’s men who have sex with men (MSM). To date condom errors have been associated with the likelihood of sexually transmitted infections in heterosexual sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic attendees but not in MSM and direct evidence of a link between condom problems and STI acquisition in MSM have been lacking. This study investigated the possibility of an independent association between condom proficiency, condom problems and STI acquisition in MSM in Scotland.
An exploratory observational design employed cross-sectional surveys in both STI clinic and community settings. Respondents completed self-report measures of socio-demographic variables, scales of condom proficiency and condom problems and numbers of different partners with whom men have had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI partners) in the preceding year. Self-report data was corroborated with clinical STI diagnosis where possible. Analysis included chi-squared and Mann–Whitney tests and multiple logistic regression.
792 respondents provided data with an overall response rate of 70% (n = 459 clinic sample, n = 333 community sample). Number of UAI partners was the strongest predictor of self-reported STI acquisition over the previous 12 months (p < 0.001 in both clinic and community samples). Demographic characteristics were not associated with self-reported STI diagnosis. However, condom proficiency score was associated with self-reported STI acquisition (p < 0.05 in both samples). Condom problem score was also associated with self-reported STI diagnosis in the clinic (p = 0.001) but not the community sample. Condom problem score remained associated with self-reported STI diagnosis in the clinic sample after adjusting for number of UAI partners with logistic regression.
This exploratory study highlights the potential importance of targeted condom use skills interventions amongst MSM. It demands further research examining the utility of condom problem measures in wider populations, across prospective and experimental research designs, and a programme of research exploring their feasibility as a tool determining candidacy for brief interventions.
Condom skills; Men who have sex with men; Sexually transmitted infections; Condom problems; Condom proficiency; Condom measures
Objectives: To establish the prevalence of HIV, syphilis, and sexual risk behaviour among three groups of men who have sex with men in Jakarta, Indonesia, and to investigate sexual links between these men and broader heterosexual populations.
Methods: Anonymous, cross sectional surveys among community recruited transgender and male sex workers and self recognised men who have sex with men (MSM) were undertaken in mid-2002 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Places where transgender and male sex workers sell sex and where men go to meet non-commercial male sex partners were mapped. Probability samples were selected for the sex worker populations, while a mixed probability and convenience sample was drawn for self recognised MSM. Blood was drawn for HIV and syphilis serology and community interviewers administered a standardised questionnaire.
Results: HIV prevalence was 22% among transgender sex workers, 3.6% among male sex workers, and 2.5% among self recognised MSM, and syphilis prevalence was 19.3%, 2.0% and 1.1% respectively. 59.3% of transgender sex workers and 64.8% of male sex workers reported recent unprotected anal intercourse with clients, and 53.1% of other MSM reported unprotected anal sex with male partners. Some 54.4% of male sex workers and 18.3% of other MSM reported female partners in the preceding year.
Conclusion: HIV has reached substantial levels among transgender sex workers, and is not negligible in other MSM groups. Risk behaviour is high in all subpopulations, and bisexual behaviour is common, meaning the threat of a wider epidemic is substantial. Prevention programmes targeting male-male sex are needed to reduce this threat.
Preliminary evidence has suggested that some transgender men who have sex with non-transgender men (“trans MSM”) may be at risk for HIV and STIs and that their prevention needs are not being met. Quantitative (n = 45) and qualitative (n =15) interviews explored risk behaviors, protective strategies, and perceptions of the impact of transgender identity on sexual decision-making among trans MSM. A majority of the participants reported inconsistent condom use during receptive vaginal and anal sex with non-trans male partners; HIV prevalence was 2.2%. Risk factors included barriers to sexual negotiation including unequal power dynamics, low self-esteem, and need for gender identity affirmation. Protective strategies included meeting and negotiating with potential partners online. Results of this study provide initial evidence that current risk behaviors could lead to rising HIV prevalence rates among trans MSM. Prevention programs must tailor services to include issues unique to trans MSM and their non-trans male partners.
gender identity; HIV/STI prevention; MSM; sexual risk; transgender men
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
To describe the prevalence and predictors of condom use and sexual risk in the male clients of Hijra sex workers (HSWs) in Karachi, Pakistan.
Clients of HSWs were recruited with assistance from HSWs and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused on men who have sex with men (MSM) during October–November 2010.
The interviewer administered the questionnaire to each participant to solicit information on demographics, HIV/AIDS knowledge/attitudes and sexual risk behaviours/practices, including condom use in the last sexual act with the HSW.
Of the 203 participants, 42.4% reported that they used condoms during their last sexual act with HSW, 40% were married, 18% had ever used drugs or alcohol, and 52% reported also engaging with female sex workers in the last month. Casual HSW clients were more likely to use condoms than regular clients (adjusted OR (AOR), 2.50; 95% CI 1.34 to 4.65), as were persons with a higher education level (AOR 5.8; 95% CI 1.6 to 20.3). Drug/alcohol users and non-users were equally likely to use condoms (AOR 1.11; 95% CI 0.51 to 2.24).
Clients of HSWs in Pakistan are at risk of acquiring HIV/STI infections. Concerted efforts are needed to increase condom use in this key bridge population to curtail the spread of HIV in the general population.
To determine the prevalence of condom use in regular and casual clients of Hijra sex workers.
It is feasible to access hard-to-reach populations.
The intervention programme should also focus on clients.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This is the first study of its kind.
The study involved no HIV testing.
The study gave an incentive to clients and Hijra sex workers for participating in the study.
Although forced sex is a correlate of HIV infection, its prevalence and associated risks are not well described among men who have sex with men (MSM) in developing-country settings. Between March and October 2005, we assessed the prevalence of forced sex and correlates among populations of MSM (this includes general MSM, male sex workers, and male-to-female transgender persons) in Thailand using a community-based sample. Participants were enrolled from venues around Bangkok, Chiangmai, and Phuket using venue day-time sampling. Handheld computer-assisted self-interviewing was used to collect demographic and behavioral data and logistic regression evaluated factors associated with forced sex, defined as ever being forced to have sexual intercourse against one’s will. Of the 2,049 participants (M age, 24.8 years), a history of forced sex was reported by 376 (18.4%) men and, of these, most were forced by someone they knew (83.8%), forced more than once (67.3%), and had first occurrence during adolescence (55.1%). In multivariate analysis, having a history of forced sex was significantly associated with being recruited in Phuket, classification as general MSM or transgender (versus classification as male sex worker), drug use, increased number of male sexual partners, and buying sex. The findings in our assessment were consistent with assessments from Western countries. Longitudinal studies are needed to understand the mechanisms of the relationships between forced sex correlates found in our assessment and HIV acquisition and transmission risks.
Sexual coercion; Men who have sex with men; Male sex workers; Transgender; Thailand
We estimated the HIV risk reduction that could be attained by using a rapid HIV home test (HT) to screen sexual partners versus using condoms in different proportions of anal intercourse (AI) occasions among men who have sex with men (MSM). Special attention was paid to the role of the window period during which infected cases go undetected. Our results show that if MSM engage in AI without condoms following a non-reactive HT result, they have lower chances of becoming infected by someone still in the window period than by following heuristics and using condoms inconsistently. For MSM who do not use condoms, use of HT as a screening device may be a useful risk reduction strategy. This advantage increases with higher HIV population prevalence. With higher HIV incidence, this strategy will not provide any advantage if condoms are used in as little as one out of four occasions.
serosorting; rapid HIV test; risk reduction for HIV; gay men; men who have sex with men
To explore whether heterosexual bridging among syphilis‐positive men who have sex with men (MSM) contributes to increased infection rates among adolescent women in Baltimore City, Maryland.
Interview data for patients with primary, secondary and early‐latent syphilis from January 2001 to July 2005 were linked with their corresponding field records for named exposed contacts to assess prevalence of male bisexual activity and risk profiles of potential male bisexual bridgers and their female sex partners.
None of the women with syphilis reported having known heterosexual relationships with a bisexual man. However, 3.9% and 11.0% of the male sex partners of adolescent females and women aged >25 years with syphilis, respectively, self‐reported as MSM or named male sex partners. Likewise, 10.3% of syphilis‐positive MSM named female sex partners and 3.0% of syphilis‐positive men who did not self‐identify as MSM named both male and female sex partners.
Sexual network links exist between syphilis‐positive MSM and heterosexual women, but the extent of bisexual behaviour among men is not detectable by self‐identification and disclosure to female sex partners.
We examined changes and correlates of sexual risk behavior of men who have sex with men (MSM) compared with heterosexual men and women over three time periods. Data from the 1997, 1999, and 2003 Los Angeles County Health Surveys, a population–based telephone survey, were analyzed to examine the association of sociodemographic and health–related factors with sexual risk behaviors among the three groups. In each time period, MSM reported a significantly greater percentage of sexual risk (i.e., both inconsistent condom use and multiple sex partners in the past 12 months) compared with heterosexual men and women. Multivariate analyses indicated that MSM and heterosexual men reported greater sexual risk than heterosexual women. Respondents who were younger, U.S. born, reported heavy alcohol consumption, or had been tested for HIV in the past 24 months were more likely to report sexual risk behavior. The findings suggest the need for continued targeted prevention for MSM and prevention efforts for segments of the general population at elevated risk for HIV.
Little is known about female condom use among female sex workers who inject drugs (FSW-IDUs) in Northern Mexico, where HIV/STI prevalence is high. We examined the prevalence and correlates of female condom use and interest in female condom use among FSW-IDUs aged ≥18 years in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico enrolled in a behavioral intervention designed to reduce high-risk sexual and injection behaviors. Of 621 FSW-IDUs, 8 % reported ever using female condoms, and 67.2 % expressed interest in trying female condoms. Factors independently associated with female condom use were having had a client become angry at the suggestion of using condoms and having engaged in unprotected vaginal sex with non-regular clients. Factors independently associated with interest in using female condoms were lifetime physical abuse and lifetime sexual abuse. Increasing the availability of female condoms and providing education on their use in the context of drug use and violence is recommended.
Female condom; Female sex workers; Injection drug use; HIV; Mexico
To collect and analyse published and unpublished surveillance and research data on the prevalence of same sex sexual activity among male adults (including male‐to‐female transgenders and sex workers) in low and middle income countries.
Key indicators were operationalised (ever sex with a man, sex with a man last year, high risk sex last year (as defined by unprotected anal sex or commercial sex)) and a database was designed for data collection. Searches were conducted (PubMed, databases (US Census Bureau, World Bank, conferences)) and regional informants helped. Reference reports were used to assess the methodology and quality of information in each record. The best data available per region were identified and indicator estimates were used to propose regional range estimates.
Of 561 studies on male sexual behaviour and/or MSM population characteristics, 67 addressed prevalence of sex between men, with diverse numbers per region and virtual unavailability in sub‐Saharan Africa, Middle East/North Africa, and the English speaking Caribbean. Overall, data on lifetime prevalence of sex with men (among males) yielded figures of 3–5% for East Asia, 6–12% for South and South East Asia, 6–15% for Eastern Europe, and 6–20% for Latin America. Last year figures were approximately half of lifetime figures, and prevalence of high risk sex among MSM last year was approximately 40–60% in all regions except South Asia, where it is 70–90%.
Data available on the prevalence of male same sex sexual activity across regions are scarce (non‐existent in some areas), with validity and comparability problems. In South and South East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, a lifetime prevalence of 6–20% was estimated, with smaller figures in East Asia. A cross cultural analysis of terminology and practices is needed, as is continued work on epidemiological and social analysis of male‐male sexual practices in societies across regions.
men who have sex with men; sexual behaviour; global estimates; HIV; scientific review
Young men in South Africa can play a critical role in preventing new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, yet are seldom targeted for HIV prevention. While reported condom use at last sex has increased considerably among young people, consistent condom use remains a challenge. In this study, 74 male higher education students gave their perspectives on male and female condoms in 10 focus group discussions. All believed that condoms should be used when wanting to prevent conception and protect against HIV, although many indicated that consistent condom use was seldom attained, if at all. Three possible situations for not using condoms were noted: (i) when sex happens in the heat of the moment and condoms are unavailable, (ii) when sexual partnerships have matured and (iii) when female partners implicitly accept unprotected sex. Men viewed it as their responsibility to have male condoms available, but attitudes about whose decision it was to initiate condom use were mixed. Almost all sexually active men had male condom experience; however, very few had used female condoms. Prevention initiatives should challenge traditional gendered norms that underpin poor condom uptake and continued use and build on the apparent shifts in these norms that are allowing women greater sexual agency.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are marginalized, hidden, underserved and at high risk for HIV in Nepal. We examined the association between MSM sub-populations, psychosocial health problems and support, access to prevention and non-use of condoms.
Between September-November of 2010, a cross-sectional survey on HIV-related risk behavior was performed across Nepal through snowball sampling facilitated by non-governmental organizations, recruiting 339 MSM, age 15 or older. The primary outcomes were: (a) non-use of condoms at least once in last three anal sex encounters with men and (b) non-use of condoms with women in the last encounter. The secondary outcome was participation in HIV prevention interventions in the past year.
Among the 339 MSM interviewed, 78% did not use condoms at their last anal sex with another man, 35% did not use condoms in their last sex with a woman, 70% had experienced violence in the last 12 months, 61% were experiencing depression and 47% had thought of committing suicide. After adjustment for age, religion, marital status, and MSM subpopulations (bisexual, ta, meti, gay), non-use of condoms at last anal sex with a man was significantly associated with non-participation in HIV interventions, experience of physical and sexual violence, depression, repeated suicidal thoughts, small social support network and being dissatisfied with social support. Depression was marginally associated with non-use of condoms with women. The findings suggest that among MSM who reported non-use of condoms at last anal sex, the ta subgroup and those lacking family acceptance were the least likely to have participated in any preventive interventions.
MSM in Nepal have a prevalence of psychosocial health problems in turn associated with high risk behavior for HIV. Future HIV prevention efforts targeting MSM in Nepal should cover all MSM subpopulations and prioritize psychosocial health interventions.
To examine the impacts of a multi-city HIV prevention public health program (China Global Fund Round 5 Project) on condom use and HIV infection, we analyzed four yearly cross-sectional surveys from 2006 through 2009 among 20,843 men who have sex with men (MSM) in 16 Chinese cities. Self-reported condom use at last sex with a male partner increased from 58% in 2006 to 81% in 2009 (trend test, P<0.001). HIV prevalence increased from 2.3% in 2006 to 5.3% in 2009 (P<0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that self-reported receipt of interventions was an independent predictor of increased condom use at last sex with a male partner over time (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.63 in 2006 to 2.33 in 2009; P<0.001), and lower HIV prevalence (aOR, 1.08 in 2006 to 0.45 in 2009; P<0.001). HIV prevalence increased from 2006–2009 for participants with no self-reported receipt of interventions (2.1% in 2006 to 10.3% in 2009) and less so for those with interventions (2.4% to 4.7%). This Chinese public health program had positive impacts on both behaviors and disease rate among MSM population. Escalation of the coverage and intensity of effective interventions is needed for further increasing condom use and for reversing the rising trend of HIV epidemic.
HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG) persons is high and increasing in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.
To describe demographic, socioeconomic, sexual behavior and interest in future HIV prevention trials among gay and bisexual MSM and TG presenting for HIV testing (VCT) and pre-screening for the iPrEx pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis trail.
In 2008–09, MSM/TG participants attending VCT were interviewed and tested for HIV and STI. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were done to assess associations with HIV infection.
A total of 551 MSM clients (56.1% gay, 25.4% TG, and 18.5% bisexual (BS)) were enrolled. The mean age was 23.9 years. HIV prevalence among MSM overall was 12.9% (71/551); 16.5% among gay men, 9.3% among TG, and 6.9% among BS. Consistent use of condom was low, 33.3% in insertive anal sex and 31.9% in receptive anal sex. Interest in participation was high, 86.3% for PrEP, 69.7% for HIV vaccine trials, but 29.9% for circumcision. HIV was independently associated with being gay identified, aOR 2.8, p = 0.037 and with being aged 25–29, aOR 2.7, p = 0.027. Among repeat testers, HIV incidence was 8.2/100 PY, 95% CI, 3.7/100PY to 18.3/100PY.
HIV risks and rates varied by self-reported sexual orientation and gender identity. HIV was associated with sexual practices, age, and being gay-identified. These are populations are in need of novel prevention strategies and willing to participate in prevention research.
To assess sexual risk behaviour and prevalence of treatable sexually transmitted infections (STI) in migrant male workers in Lahore, Pakistan.
Behavioural interviews were conducted on a representative sample of 590 migrant men aged 20–49 years. Biological samples were collected from a subsample of 190 and tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis.
Over half (55%) of single men were sexually experienced and 36% of married men reported premarital sex. The median ages at first intercourse and first marriage were 21 years and 28 years, respectively. In the total sample (including virgins), 13% reported any female non‐marital partner in the past 12 months, 7% contact with a female sex worker, and 2% sex with a man. Only 10% reported using a condom during most recent contact with a sex worker. STI symptoms in the past 3 months were reported by 8% of men. Laboratory tests disclosed that STI prevalence was 3.2%.
If and when HIV infection spreads among sex workers in Lahore, the reported behaviour of migrant men suggests that they may act as a conduit for further transmission to the general population. Condom promotion focused on the sex trade is likely to be the most effective way of reducing this risk.
Pakistan; migrants; sex workers; sexual behaviour; condoms; HIV
To offer an empirical understanding of characteristics associated with the fit and feel of condoms among African‐American men who have sex with men (MSM), a particularly high‐risk group for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the United States.
Survey data were collected from 178 adult African‐American MSM attending a community event in Atlanta, Georgia.
Although the majority of participants reported that condoms generally fit properly and felt comfortable, a substantial number of men reported a variety of problems with the fit and feel of condoms. Specifically, 21% reported that condoms felt too tight, 18% reported that condoms felt too short, 10% reported that condoms felt too loose, and 7% reported that condoms felt too long. There were significant associations between men's reports of condom breakage and slippage, and their perceptions of condom fit and feel. Perceptions of condom fit and feel were also related to men's reports of seeking condoms for their size‐specific properties.
The fit and feel issues that men in this sample identified may be among those that contribute to their likelihood of using, or not using, condoms consistently and correctly. A better understanding of these factors will be beneficial to both condom manufacturers and sexual health professionals who share a common goal of increasing consistent and correct condom use and reducing the incidence of HIV and other STI among this and other communities.
Gang youth are at an increased likelihood of participating in unsafe sexual behaviors and at an elevated risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infection (STIs), including HIV. This manuscript presents quantitative and qualitative data on sexual behaviors among a sample of predominately heterosexual, male gang youth aged 16 to 25 years interviewed in Los Angeles between 2006 and 2007 (n = 60). In particular, sexual identity, initiation and frequency of sex, and number of sexual partners; use of condoms, children, and other pregnancies; group sex; and STIs and sex with drug users. We argue that gang youth are a particular public health concern, due to their heightened risky sexual activity, and that behavioral interventions targeting gang youth need to include a component on reducing sexual risks and promoting safe sexual health.
Objective: This study was conducted in order to determine the prevalence of men having sex with men (MSM) and their HIV related behaviours and attitudes among Chinese men in Hong Kong.
Methods: A large scale, random, population based, anonymous telephone survey of 14 963 men between the ages of 18–60 was conducted. The overall response rate was approximately 57%.
Results: Of the respondents, 4.6% had ever engaged in MSM activity. In the 6 months preceding the survey, 2.0% had engaged in MSM behaviours (active MSM) and 0.5% reported having engaged in anal sex MSM behaviours. Among anal sex MSM, consistent condom use was 42.9% with male non-commercial sex partners and even lower with male commercial sex partners (35.7%). Approximately 11% of anal sex MSM and 4.1% of the non-anal sex MSM had contracted an STD in the last 6 months. The prevalence of HIV testing was only 20.6% among anal sex MSM and 11.9% among non-anal sex MSM.
Conclusions: Active MSM in Hong Kong are at high risk of HIV infection. The belief of low vulnerability to HIV is prevalent among active MSM in Hong Kong with only 2.0% believing that their chances of HIV infection as being "very likely."
Heterosexual contact is the most common mode of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Nepal and it is largely linked to sex work. We assessed the non-use of condoms in sex work with intimate sex partners by female sex workers (FSWs) and the associated self-efficacy to inform the planning of STI/HIV prevention programmes in the general population.
This paper is based on a qualitative study of Female Sex Workers (FSWs) in Nepal. In-depth interviews and extended field observation were conducted with 15 FSWs in order to explore issues of safe sex and risk management in relation to their work place, health and individual behaviours.
The main risk factor identified for the non-use of condoms with intimate partners and regular clients was low self efficacy. Non-use of condoms with husband and boyfriends placed them at risk of STIs including HIV. In addition to intimidation and violence from the police, clients and intimate partners, clients' resistance and lack of negotiation capacity were identified as barriers in using condoms by the FSWs.
This study sheds light on the live and work of FSWs in Nepal. This information is relevant for both the Government of Nepal and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) to help improve the position of FSWs in the community, their general well-being and to reduce their risks at work.
Men who have sex with other men (MSM) are a vulnerable population in Africa that has been insufficiently explored. Given the high rate of bisexuality among MSM (73% in the past year), it is important to understand their risk-taking behaviors regarding both men and women.
A socio-behavioral survey was carried out in 2007 among 501 MSM recruited using the snowball sampling method. We explore in this article why a condom was not used during last sexual intercourse with a man and with a woman, taking into account the respondent's characteristics, type of relationship and the context of the sexual act. In the survey, 489 men reported that they had had sexual intercourse at least once with another man during the previous year, and 358 with a man and with a woman. The main risk factors for not using a condom at last sexual intercourse with another man were having sex in a public place (aOR = 6.26 [95%CI: 2.71–14.46]), non-participation in an MSM prevention program (aOR = 3.47 [95%CI: 2.12–5.69]), a 19 years old or younger partner (aOR = 2.6 [95%CI: 1.23–4.53]), being 24 years or younger (aOR = 2.07 [95%CI: 1.20–3.58]) or being 35 years or over (aOR = 3.08 [95%CI:1.11–8.53]) and being unemployed (aOR = 0.36 [95%CI: 0.10–1.25]). The last sexual intercourse with the respondent's wife was hardly ever protected (2%). With women, the other factors were a 15 years or younger partner (aOR = 6.45 [95%CI: 2.56–16.28]), being educated (primary: aOR = 0.45 [95%CI: 0.21–0.95], secondary or higher: aOR = 0.26 [95%CI: 0.11–0.62]), being a student (aOR = 2.20 [95%CI: 1.07–4.54]) or unemployed (aOR = 3.72 [95%CI: 1.31–10.61]) and having participated in a MSM prevention program (aOR = 0.57 [95%CI: 0.34–0.93]).
Having participated in a prevention program specifically targeting MSM constitutes a major prevention factor. However, these programs targeting MSM must address their heterosexual practices and the specific risks involved.
Sexually active heterosexual men may represent an important risk factor for HIV infection and STI transmission to their female partners and unborn children, though little is known about the prevalence of STIs in this population. We sought to determine the prevalence of HIV, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), and syphilis infection and associated risk behaviors among male sex partners of pregnant women in Peru.
Survey and seroprevalence data were collected from 1,835 male partners of pregnant women in four cities in Peru. Serum was tested for antibodies to HIV, HSV-2, and syphilis.
Among the 1,835 male participants, HIV prevalence was 0.8% (95% CI = 0.5–1.4%), HSV-2 16.0% (95% CI = 14.3–17.8%), and syphilis 1.6% (95% CI = 1.0–2.2%). Additionally, 11.0% reported a lifetime history of intercourse with men, and 37.1% with female sex workers. Unprotected intercourse with men during the previous year was reported by 0.9% and with female sex workers by 1.2%.
Pregnant women's sex partners reported lifetime sexual contact with core risk groups, had an elevated prevalence of HSV-2, and demonstrated the potential to spread HIV and other STIs to their partners. Though the prevalence of HIV in the population was not significantly higher than observed in other samples of heterosexuals in Peru, the risk of HIV transmission to their female partners may be exacerbated by their increased prevalence of HSV-2 infection. Further study of heterosexual populations is necessary to fully understand the epidemiology of HIV/STIs in Latin America.
In Australia, HIV is concentrated in men who have sex with men (MSM) and rates have increased steadily over the past ten years. Health promotion strategies should ideally be informed by an understanding of both the prevalence of the factors being modified, as well as the size of the risk that they confer. We undertook an analysis of the potential population impact and cost saving that would likely result from modifying key HIV risk factors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Sydney, Australia.
Proportional hazard analyses were used to examine the association between sexual behaviours in the last six months and sexually transmissible infections on HIV incidence in a cohort of 1426 HIV-negative MSM who were recruited primarily from community-based sources between 2001 and 2004 and followed to mid-2007. We then estimated the proportion of HIV infections that would be prevented if specific factors were no longer present in the population, using a population attributable risk (PAR) method which controls for confounding among factors. We also calculated the average lifetime healthcare costs incurred by the HIV infections associated with specific factors by estimating costs associated with clinical care and treatment following infection and discounting at 3% (1% and 5% sensitivity) to present value.
Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with a known HIV-positive partner was reported by 5% of men, the hazard ratio (HR) was 16.1 (95%CI:6.4-40.5), the PAR was 34% (95%CI:24-44%) and the average lifetime HIV-related healthcare costs attributable to UAI with HIV-positive partners were $AUD102 million (uncertainty range: $93-114 m). UAI with unknown HIV status partners was reported by 25% of men, the HR was 4.4 (95%CI:1.8-11.2), the PAR was 33% (95%CI:26-42%) and the lifetime incurred costs were $AUD99 million. Anal warts prevalence was 4%, the HR was 5.2 (95%CI:2.4-11.2), the PAR was 13% (95%CI:9-19%) and the lifetime incurred costs were $AUD39 million.
Our analysis has found that although UAI with an HIV-positive sexual partner is a relatively low-prevalence behaviour (reported by 5% of men), if this behaviour was not present in the population, the number of infections would be reduced by one third. No other single behaviour or sexually transmissible infections contributes to a greater proportion of infections and HIV-related healthcare costs.
Racial/ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men (MSM) represent populations with disparate sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates. While race-specific STI rates have been widely reported, STI rates among MSM is often challenging given the absence of MSM population estimates. We evaluated the race-specific rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea among MSM and non-MSM in San Francisco between 1999-2008.
2000 US Census data for San Francisco was used to estimate the number of African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and white males. Data from National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) MSM 1, conducted in 2004, was used to estimate the total number of MSM in San Francisco and the size of race/ethnic sub-populations of MSM. Non-MSM estimates were calculated by subtracting the number of estimated MSM from the total number of males residing in San Francisco. Rates of MSM and non-MSM gonorrhea and chlamydia reported between 1999 and 2008 were stratified by race/ethnicity. Ratios of MSM and non-MSM rates of morbidity were calculated by race/ethnicity.
Between 1999-2008, MSM accounted for 72% of gonorrhea cases and 51% of chlamydia cases. Throughout the study period, African-American MSM had the highest chlamydia rate with 606 cases per 100,000 in 1999 increasing to 2067 cases per 100,000 in 2008. Asian/Pacific Islander MSM consistently had the lowest rate among MSM with1003 cases per 100,000 in 2008. The ratio of MSM/non-MSM for chlamydia was highest among whites 11.6 (95% CI: 8.8-14.4) and Asian/Pacific Islanders 8.6 (95% CI: 6.2-11), and lowest among African-Americans 1.53 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9) and Hispanics 4.43 (95% CI: 2.8-6.0). Gonorrhea rates were similar for African-American, white, and Hispanic MSM between 2137-2441 cases per 100,000 in 2008. Asian/Pacific Islander MSM had the lowest gonorrhea rate with 865 cases per 100,000 in 2008. The ratio of MSM/non-MSM for gonorrhea was highest among whites 11.6 (95% CI: 8.8-14.4) and Asian/Pacific Islanders 8.6 (95% CI: 6.2-11), and lowest among African-Americans 1.53 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9) and Hispanics 4.43 (95% CI: 2.8-6.0).
For all racial/ethnic groups in San Francisco, MSM carried a substantially higher burden of STIs compared to non-MSM except among African-American men. These racial and sexual behavior disparities warrant further public health attention and resources.
We assessed HIV prevalence and associated behaviors and risk factors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, China. Five hundred MSM were recruited for a biological and behavioral survey using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) in 2009. Serologic specimens were tested for markers of HIV and syphilis infection. A computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) administered questionnaire gathered information including demographic characteristics, sexual behaviors, HIV testing, and social norms concerning condom use. The adjusted HIV prevalence was 8.0%, syphilis 22.0%. HIV testing and disclosure was low; only 39.3% had HIV tested in the past 12 months, 49.7% knew their own HIV status and 22.8% knew their last male partner's HIV status. HIV infection was associated with syphilis, ever having sex with a woman, not knowing the HIV status of the most recent male partner, and never buying condoms in the past 12 months. Stronger endorsement of positive social norms around condom use strongly and predicted lower prevalence of HIV infection. Compared to surveys of similar design in the recent past, HIV continues to spread rapidly among Beijing's MSM. Our results identify points of intervention that, if addressed in time, may still alter the course of the epidemic including the promotion of HIV testing and partner disclosure, syphilis control and particularly changing social norms around condom use.