An increase in new HIV cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been reported in Switzerland since 2001. A rapid result HIV testing for MSM through voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) facility (“Checkpoint”) was opened in Geneva in 2005. This gay-friendly facility, the first to open in Switzerland, provides testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and rapid result HIV testing and counselling. Our objective was to analyze Checkpoint’s activity over its first five years of activity and its ability to attract at-risk MSM.
We used routine data collected anonymously about the facility activity (number of clients, number of tests, and test results) and about the characteristics of the clientele (sociodemographic data, sexual risk behaviour, and reasons for testing) from 2005 to 2009.
The yearly number of HIV tests performed increased from 249 in 2005 to 561 in 2009. The annual proportion of positive tests among tests performed varied between 2% and 3%. Among MSM clients, the median annual number of anal intercourse (AI) partners was three. Roughly 30% of all MSM clients had at least one unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) experience in the previous 12 months with a partner of different/unknown HIV status.
The main reason for testing in 2007, 2008, and 2009 was “sexual risk exposure” (~40%), followed by “routine” testing (~30%) and “condom stopping in the beginning of a new steady relationship” (~10%). Clients who came to the facility after a sexual risk exposure, compared to clients who came for "routine testing" or "condom stopping" reasons, had the highest number of AI partners in the previous 12 months, were more likely to have had UAI with a partner of different/unknown HIV status in the previous 12 months (respectively 57.3%, 12.5%, 23.5%), more likely to have had an STI diagnosed in the past (41.6%, 32.2%, 22.9%), and more likely to report recent feelings of sadness or depression (42.6%; 32.8%, 18.5%).
Many of Checkpoint's clients reported elevated sexual risk exposure and risk factors, and the annual proportion of new HIV cases in the facility is stable. This VCT facility attracts the intended population and appears to be a useful tool contributing to the fight against the HIV epidemic among MSM in Switzerland.
Anonymous HIV counselling and testing; Homosexuality; Gay-friendly facility; Monitoring; Switzerland
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.
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
To assess the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), frequency of sexual risk behaviors, and relationship between knowledge of HIV infection status and sexual risk behavior among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) attending an STI clinic in Peru.
We recruited a convenience sample of 559 MSM from a municipal STI clinic in Lima, Peru. Participants completed a survey and provided blood for HIV, Syphilis, and HSV-2 antibody testing, and urine for gonorrhea and chlamydia nucleic acid testing.
Among 124 HIV-infected MSM, 72.6% were aware of their HIV-infected status. Active syphilis (RPR≥1:8) was diagnosed in 21.0% of HIV-infected participants, HSV-2 in 79.8%, urethral gonorrhea in 1.6%, and chlamydia in 1.6%. Among 41 participants reporting insertive anal intercourse with their last sex partner, 34.2% did not use a condom. Of 86 participants reporting receptive anal intercourse, 25.6% did not use a condom. At least one episode of insertive unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with an HIV-uninfected partner during the previous six months was reported by 33.6% (35/104) of participants, and receptive UAI with an HIV-uninfected partner by 44.6% (45/101). No difference in frequency of UAI, with HIV-uninfected or HIV-infected partners, was observed between men who knew their serostatus compared with those who were previously undiagnosed (all p-values >0.05).
HIV-infected MSM in Peru engaged in high-risk behaviors for spreading HIV and STIs. Knowledge of HIV-infected status was not associated with a decreased frequency of unprotected anal intercourse. Additional efforts to reduce risk behavior after the diagnosis of HIV infection are necessary.
MSM; Peru; HIV; Secondary prevention; Prevention for positives
The availability of oral fluid HIV rapid testing provides an approach that may have the potential to expand HIV testing in China, especially among most-a-risk populations. There are few investigations about the acceptability of oral fluid HIV testing among most-at-risk populations in China.
A cross-sectional study with men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW) and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) clients was conducted in three cities of Shandong province, China from 2011 to 2012. Data were collected by face-to-face questionnaire.
About 71% of participants were willing to accept the oral fluid HIV rapid testing, and home HIV testing was independently associated with acceptability of the new testing method among MSM, FSW and VCT clients (AOR of 4.46, 3.19 and 5.74, respectively). Independent predictors of oral fluid HIV rapid testing acceptability among MSM were having ever taken an oral fluid HIV rapid test (AOR= 15.25), having ever taken an HIV test (AOR= 2.07), and education level (AOR= 1.74). Engagement in HIV-related risk behaviors (AOR= 1.68) was an independent predictor of acceptability for FSW. Having taken an HIV test (AOR= 2.85) was an independent predictor of acceptability for VCT clients. The primary concern about the oral fluid HIV testing was accuracy. The median price they would pay for the testing ranged from 4.8 to 8.1 U.S. dollars.
High acceptability of oral fluid HIV rapid testing was shown among most-at-risk populations. Findings provide support for oral rapid HIV testing as another HIV prevention tool, and provide a backdrop for the implementation of HIV home testing in the near future. Appropriate pricing and increased public education through awareness campaigns that address concerns about the accuracy and safety of the oral fluid HIV rapid testing may help increase acceptability and use among most-at-risk populations in China.
To address the role of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted disease (STD) epidemic in China.
To explore the prevalence of risky sexual behaviors and the existing prevention efforts among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China.
Review of behavioral and STD/HIV prevention studies addressing MSM in China.
Sexual risk behaviors including unprotected group sex, anal sex, casual sex, and commercial sex were prevalent among Chinese MSM. Many Chinese MSM also engaged in unprotected sex with both men and women. Most MSM either did not perceive that they were at risk of HIV/AIDS or underestimated their risk of infection. Surveillance and intervention research among these men are still in the preliminary stages.
Chinese MSM are at risk for HIV/STD infection and potential transmission of HIV to the general population. In addition to sexual risk reduction among MSM, reduction of homosexualityrelated stigma should be part of effective intervention efforts. Volunteers from the MSM community and health care workers in primary health care system may serve as valuable resources for HIV/STD prevention and control among MSM.
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
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
In India men who have sex with men (MSM) are a stigmatized and hidden population, vulnerable to a variety of psychosocial and societal stressors. This population is also much more likely to be HIV-infected compared to the general population. However, little research exists about how psychosocial and societal stressors result in mental health problems. A confidential, quantitative mental-health interview was conducted among 150 MSM in Mumbai, India at The Humsafar Trust, the largest non-governmental organization serving MSM in India. The interview collected information on sociodemographics and assessed self-esteem, social support and DSM-IV psychiatric disorders using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Participants' mean age was 25.1 years (SD=5.1); 21% were married to women. Forty-five percent reported current suicidal ideation, with 66% low risk, 19% moderate risk, and 15% high risk for suicide per MINI guidelines. Twenty-nine percent screened in for current major depression and 24% for any anxiety disorder. None of the respondents reported current treatment for any psychiatric disorder. In multivariable models controlling for age, education, income and sexual identity, participants reporting higher levels of self-esteem and greater levels of satisfaction with the social support they receive from family and friends were at lower risk of suicidality (self-esteem AOR=0.85, 95% CI: 0.78-0.93; social support AOR=0.76, 95% CI: 0.62-0.93) and major depression (self-esteem AOR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.71-0.89; social support AOR=0.68, 95% CI: 0.54-0.85). Those who reported greater social support satisfaction were also at lower risk of a clinical diagnosis of an anxiety disorder (AOR=0.80; 95% CI: 0.65-0.99). MSM in Mumbai have high rates of suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety. Programs to improve self-esteem and perceived social support may improve these mental health outcomes. Because they are also a high-risk group for HIV, MSM HIV prevention and treatment services may benefit from incorporating mental health services and referrals into their programs.
Men who have sex with men (MSM); Mumbai; India; mental health; suicide; depression; anxiety
Background. While HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam has received increasing attention, most studies focus on HIV knowledge and established risk factors such as injection drug use. This paper proposes to address HIV risk among MSM from an integrated approach to preventive care that takes into account syndemic conditions such as substance use, mental health, and stigma, the latter of which prevents MSM from accessing health services. Method. Current studies related to MSM in Vietnam from 2000 onwards, gathered from peer-reviewed as well as non-peer-reviewed sources, were examined. Results. HIV and STI prevalence among MSM varied significantly by location, and yet HIV prevalence has increased significantly over the past few years. Most studies have focused on sexual risk behaviors, paying little attention to the broad spectrum of sexual health, including noninjecting drug use, heavy alcohol consumption, high rates of mental health distress and anxiety, and stigma. Conclusion. Future research and interventions targeting MSM in Vietnam should address their vulnerability to HIV from an integrated approach that pays attention to both sexual health and syndemic conditions.
This paper presents an evaluation of Avahan, a large scale HIV prevention program that was implemented using peer-mediated strategies, condom distribution and sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinical services among high-risk men who have sex with men (HR-MSM) and male to female transgender persons (TGs) in six high-prevalence state of Tamil Nadu, in southern India.
Two rounds of large scale cross-sectional bio-behavioural surveys among HR-MSM and TGs and routine program monitoring data were used to assess changes in program coverage, condom use and prevalence of STIs (including HIV) and their association to program exposure.
The Avahan program for HR-MSM and TGs in Tamil Nadu was significantly scaled up and contacts by peer educators reached 77 percent of the estimated denominator by the end of the program’s fourth year. Exposure to the program increased between the two rounds of surveys for both HR-MSM (from 66 percent to 90 percent; AOR = 4.6; p < 0.001) and TGs (from 74.5 percent to 83 percent; AOR = 1.82; p < 0.06). There was an increase in consistent condom use by HR-MSM with their regular male partners (from 33 percent to 46 percent; AOR = 1.9; p < 0.01). Last time condom use with paying male partners (up from 81 percent to 94 percent; AOR = 3.6; p < 0.001) also showed an increase. Among TGs, the increase in condom use with casual male partners (18 percent to 52 percent; AOR = 1.8; p < 0.27) was not significant, and last time condom use declined significantly with paying male partners (93 percent to 80 percent; AOR = 0.32; p < 0.015). Syphilis declined significantly among both HR-MSM (14.3 percent to 6.8 percent; AOR = 0.37; p < 0.001) and TGs (16.6 percent to 4.2 percent; AOR = 0.34; p < 0.012), while change in HIV prevalence was not found to be significant for HR-MSM (9.7 percent to 10.9 percent) and TGs (12 percent to 9.8 percent). For both groups, change in condom use with commercial and non-commercial partners was found to be strongly linked with exposure to the Avahan program.
The Avahan program for HR-MSM and TGs in Tamil Nadu achieved a high coverage, resulting in improved condom use by HR-MSM with their regular and commercial male partners. Declining STI prevalence and stable HIV prevalence reflect the positive effects of the prevention strategy. Outcomes from the program logic model indiacte the effectiveness of the program for HR-MSM and TGs in Tamil Nadu.
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.
In India, men who have sex with men (MSM) and truck drivers are high-risk groups that often do not access HIV testing due to stigma and high mobility. This study evaluated a field testing package (FTP) that identified HIV positive participants through video pre-test counseling, OraQuick oral fluid HIV testing, and telephonic post-test counseling and then connected them to government facilities. 598 MSM and truck drivers participated in the FTP and completed surveys covering sociodemographics, HIV testing history, risk behaviors, and opinions on the FTP. Those who had previously been tested preferred traditional methods to video counseling. MSM and truck drivers equally preferred video counseling, although MSM who had been previously tested preferred traditional methods. Nearly all participants preferred oral testing. Rates of counseling completion and linkage to government centers were low, with one third of newly identified positives completing follow-up. With increased public-private coordination, this FTP could identify many hard-to-reach preliminary positive individuals and connect them to government testing and care.
Men who have sex with men (MSM); truck drivers; oral fluid HIV testing; India; telephonic counseling
A high prevalence of HIV infection is present among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China, but many people living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHs) are unaware of their HIV infection status. Provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) is a streamlined model that can significantly enhance HIV detection and detect infections earlier. However, PITC has not yet been widely applied, and no studies have been conducted on MSM's attitudes towards PITC in China. In this study, a total of 438 MSM were recruited in Shenyang city. A multivariate logistic regression model showed that certain conditions made MSM more accepting of PITC: those who had attended VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) more than three times (odds ratio [OR]: 2.95, 95% CI: 1.36–6.37), those who considered PITC beneficial for family and friends (OR: 1.91, 95% CI: 1.25–2.92), those who obtained HIV/AIDS knowledge from brochures (OR: 2.52, 95% CI: 1.64–3.87), those who obtained HIV/AIDS knowledge from the Internet (OR: 1.66, 95% CI: 1.07–2.58), and those who were highly aware of their own risk of being infected with HIV (OR: 2.84, 95% CI: 1.37–5.91). To improve acceptance of PITC among MSM in China, stronger efforts are needed to lower the psychosocial barriers to receiving PITC, to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, and to encourage the extension of HIV testing.
Little is known about the public health benefits of community-based, non-medicalized rapid HIV testing offers (CBOffer) specifically targeting men who have sex with men (MSM), compared with the standard medicalized HIV testing offer (SMOffer) in France. This study aimed to verify whether such a CBOffer, implemented in voluntary counselling and testing centres, could improve access to less recently HIV-tested MSM who present a risk behaviour profile similar to or higher than MSM tested with the SMOffer.
This multisite study enrolled MSM attending voluntary counselling and testing centres’ during opening hours in the SMOffer. CBOffer enrolees voluntarily came to the centres outside of opening hours, following a communication campaign in gay venues. A self-administered questionnaire was used to investigate HIV testing history and sexual behaviours including inconsistent condom use and risk reduction behaviours (in particular, a score of “intentional avoidance” for various at-risk situations was calculated). A mixed logistic regression identified factors associated with access to the CBOffer.
Among the 330 participants, 64% attended the CBOffer. Percentages of inconsistent condom use in both offers were similar (51% CBOffer, 50% SMOffer). In multivariate analyses, those attending the CBOffer had only one or no test in the previous two years, had a lower intentional avoidance score, and met more casual partners in saunas and backrooms than SMOffer enrolees.
This specific rapid CBOffer attracted MSM less recently HIV-tested, who presented similar inconsistent condom use rates to SMOffer enrolees but who exposed themselves more to HIV-associated risks. Increasing entry points for HIV testing using community and non-medicalized tests is a priority to reach MSM who are still excluded.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) than women and heterosexual men. This elevated risk persists across age groups and reflects biological and behavioral factors, yet there have been few direct comparisons of sexual behavior patterns between these populations.
We compared sexual behavior patterns of MSM and male and female heterosexuals aged 18–39 using 4 population-based random digit dialing surveys. A 1996–1998 survey in 4 U.S. cities and 2 Seattle surveys (2003, 2006) provided estimates for MSM; a 2003–2004 Seattle survey provided data about heterosexual men and women.
Sexual debut occurred earlier among MSM than heterosexuals. MSM reported longer cumulative lifetime periods of new partner acquisition than heterosexuals, and a more gradual decline in new partnership formation with age. Among MSM, 86% of 18–24 year olds and 72% of 35–39 year olds formed a new partnership during the prior year, compared to 56% of heterosexual men and 34% of women at ages 18–24, and 21% and 10%, respectively, at ages 35–39. MSM were also more likely to choose partners >5 years older and were 2–3 times as likely as heterosexuals to report recent concurrent partnerships. MSM reported more consistent condom use during anal sex than heterosexuals reported during vaginal sex.
MSM have longer periods of partnership acquisition, a higher prevalence of partnership concurrency, and more age-disassortative mixing than heterosexuals. These factors likely help explain higher HIV/STI rates among MSM, despite higher levels of condom use.
men who have sex with men; heterosexuals; sexual behavior; HIV; STI
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) emerged as sexually transmitted infection among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM). We studied whether HCV circulated in identifiable high-risk MSM subcultures and performed phylogenetic analysis.
HIV-infected MSM were recruited at the sexually transmitted infections (STI) outpatient clinic and a university HIV clinic in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2008–2009. Participants completed a detailed questionnaire and were tested for HCV antibodies and RNA, with NS5B regions sequenced for analysis of clusters.
Among 786 participants, the median age was 43 (IQR 37–48) years, and 93 (11.8%) were HCV-positive. Seropositivity was associated with belonging to subcultures identified as leather (aOR 2.60; 95% CI 1.56–4.33), rubber/lycra (aOR 2.15; 95% CI 1.10–4.21), or jeans (aOR 2.23; 95% CI 1.41–3.54). The two largest HCV-RNA monophyletic clusters were compared; MSM in cluster I (genotype 1a, n = 13) reported more partners (P = 0.037) than MSM in cluster II (genotype 4d, n = 14), but demographics, subculture characteristics and other risk behaviors did not differ significantly between the two clusters.
HCV infection is associated with identifiable groups of leather/rubber/lycra/jeans subcultures among HIV-infected MSM. Separate epidemiological HCV transmission networks were not revealed. Active HCV screening and treatment within specific subcultures may reduce HCV spread among all MSM.
In India men who have sex with men (MSM) are stigmatized, understudied, and at high risk for HIV. Understanding the impact of psychosocial issues on HIV risk behavior and HIV infection can help shape culturally relevant HIV prevention interventions. Peer outreach workers recruited 210 MSM in Chennai who completed an interviewer-administered psychosocial assessment battery and underwent HIV testing and counseling. More than one fifth (46/210) reported unprotected anal intercourse in the past 3 months, 8% tested positive for HIV, and 26% had previously participated in an HIV prevention intervention. In a multivariable logistic-regression model controlling for age, MSM subpopulation (kothi, panthi, or double-decker), marital status, and religion, significant predictors of any unprotected anal intercourse were being less educated (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = .54; p = .009), not having previously participated in an HIV prevention program (AOR = 3.75; p = .05), having clinically significant depression symptoms (AOR = 2.8; p = .02), and lower self-efficacy (AOR = .40; p < .0001). Significant predictors of testing positive for HIV infection were: being less educated (AOR = .53; .05) and not currently living with parent(s) (AOR = 3.71; p = .05). Given the prevalence of HIV among MSM, efforts to reach hidden subpopulations of MSM in India are still needed. Such programs for MSM in India may need to address culturally-relevant commonly co-occurring psychosocial problems to maximize chances of reducing risk for infection.
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.
Research on gay and other men who have sex with men's (G/MSM) preferences for sexual healthcare services focuses largely on HIV testing and to some extent on sexually transmitted infections (STI). This research illustrates the frequency and location of where G/MSM interface with the healthcare system, but it does not speak to why men seek care in those locations. As HIV and STI prevention strategies evolve, evidence about G/MSM's motivations and decision-making can inform future plans to optimize models of HIV/STI prevention and primary care.
We conducted a phenomenological study of gay men's sexual health seeking experiences, which included 32 in-depth interviews with gay and bisexual men. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and entered into Atlas.ti. We conducted a Framework Analysis.
We identified a continuum of sexual healthcare seeking practices and their associated drivers. Men differed in their preferences for separating sexual healthcare from other forms of healthcare (“fragmentation”) versus combining all care into one location (“consolidation”). Fragmentation drivers included: fear of being monitored by insurance companies, a desire to seek non-judgmental providers with expertise in sexual health, a desire for rapid HIV testing, perceiving sexual health services as more convenient than primary care services, and a lack of healthcare coverage. Consolidation drivers included: a comfortable and trusting relationship with a provider, a desire for one provider to oversee overall health and those with access to public or private health insurance.
Men in this study were likely to separate sexual healthcare from primary care. Based on this finding, we recommend placing new combination HIV/STI prevention interventions within sexual health clinics. Furthermore, given the evolution of the financing and delivery of healthcare services and in HIV prevention, policymakers and clinicians should consider including more primary care services within sexual healthcare settings.
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.
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.
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
Despite the moderate efficacy of HIV prevention interventions for at risk gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), MSM continue to represent the largest group of new HIV infections and the largest number of individuals living with HIV in the US. Environmental factors such as sexual minority stress increase the vulnerability of MSM for mental health problems. These mental health problems can be a barrier to consistently engaging in self-care health behaviors such as sexual risk reduction. We consider the following observations critical to identifying priorities for HIV prevention among MSM: (1) gay, bisexual and other MSM have higher rates of mental health problems than general population estimates; (2) these mental health problems co-occur with each other and interact synergistically to increase HIV risk; and (3) comorbid mental health problems may compromise the impact of prevention programs, and integrating treatment of mental health issues into prevention programs may improve program efficacy. Novel prevention interventions for at risk MSM that integrate programming with the treatment of co-occurring and interfering mental health issues are the most promising avenue to increase prevention intervention efficacy and effectiveness. By addressing significant mental health issues and supporting broad based prevention efforts at the individual and community level, there is also the potential to improve the overall quality of life and public mental health of gay, bisexual, and other MSM.
Men who have sex with men; MSM; Syndemics; HIV prevention; Mental health
Recent data suggest that the prevalence of HIV/syphilis infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China increased rapidly. This cohort study was to assess the correlates of the incident infections for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) among sexually active and HIV–negative MSM in China. A cohort of 507 HIV-seronegative MSM was recruited from November 2006 to February 2007. Sociodemographics, sexual and drug use behaviors, uptake of HIV-prevention services, and HIV, syphilis, and HBV seroconversions were assessed at 6- and 12- month follow-up. The incidence rates were 2.6 per 100 person-years for HIV, 16.9 per 100 person-years for syphilis, and 3.3 per 100 person-years for HBV. Multivariate Cox regression analyses showed that syphilis infection (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–11.6) and no perceived risk of HIV infection (HR = 6.0; 95% CI: 1.6–22.7) were independently associated with HIV seroconversion. Predictors for syphilis seroconversion included less education (HR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.1–3.3), found male sex partners through bathhouses/public washrooms/parks (HR = 2.19; 95% CI: 1.2–4.0), drank alcohol 4 or more times monthly (HR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.1–3.6), and had sexually transmitted diseases (HR = 2.65; 95% CI: 1.5–4.5). The only predictor for incident HBV seroconvension was having more male sex partners in the past 3 months (HR = 11.8; 95% CI: 1.5–90.4). Alarmingly high incidence rates of HIV, syphilis, and HBV were found among MSM concurrently with high prevalent risky behaviors and low uptakes of health care services. The findings of this study underscore the urgent needs for a comprehensive intervention strategy to curtail the rapid spread of HIV, syphilis, and HBV.