Studies show high rates of psychiatric symptoms among methamphetamine users; however, little information exists regarding methamphetamine use and anxiety. This study investigated psychosocial and behavioral correlates of anxiety symptoms in a sample of 245 HIV-positive men having sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention. In a multiple regression analysis, anxiety symptoms were associated with homelessness, recent experience of HIV symptoms, injection drug use, lifetime sexual abuse, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, and seeking out partners at risky sexual venues when “high” on methamphetamine. These findings can be used to inform and refine sexual risk reduction interventions and substance use treatment programs for HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM.
anxiety symptoms; methamphetamine; men who have sex with men; sexual risk behavior; HIV
This study evaluates associations between internalized homonegativity and demographic factors, drug use behaviors, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV status among men who have sex with men (MSM) and with men and women (MSM/W). Participants were recruited in Los Angeles County using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and completed the Internalized Homonegativity Inventory (IHNI) and questionnaires on demographic and behavioral factors. Biological samples were tested for HIV and for recent cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin use. The 722 MSM and MSM/W participants were predominantly African American (44%) and Hispanic (28%), unemployed (82%), homeless (50%), and HIV positive (48%) who used drugs in the past 6 months (79.5%). Total and Personal Homonegativity, Gay Affirmation, and Morality of Homosexuality IHNI scores were significantly higher for African American men than for other ethnicities, for MSM/W than for MSM, for recent cocaine users than for recent methamphetamine users, and for HIV-seronegative men than for HIV-seropositive men. Linear regression showed the Gay Affirmation scale significantly and inversely correlated with the number of sexual partners when controlling for effects of ethnicity/race and sexual identification, particularly for men who self-identified as straight. Highest IHNI scores were observed in a small group of MSM/W (n = 62) who never tested for HIV. Of these, 26% tested HIV positive. Findings describe ways in which internalized homophobia is a barrier to HIV testing and associated HIV infection and signal distinctions among participants in this sample that can inform targeted HIV prevention efforts aimed at increasing HIV testing.
Homophobia; Homonegativity; Drug abuse; Gay men; Bisexual men; HIV
Previous research among drug-using men who have sex with men (MSM) indicates that trading sex for methamphetamine may be common.
This study identified background characteristics, substance use variables, contextual factors, and sexual risk behaviors associated with trading sex for methamphetamine in a sample of HIV-positive MSM. Baseline data were gathered from 155 participants who were enrolled in a sexual risk-reduction intervention. Logistic regression was used to compare MSM who traded sex for methamphetamine with men who did not.
Forty-three percent of the sample reported trading sex for methamphetamine in the past 2 months. Trading sex for methamphetamine was associated with being a binge user, homelessness, having an income of less than $20,000 per year, being less assertive at turning down drugs, engaging in more anal sex without a condom, and seeking out risky sex partners when high on methamphetamine.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance
These data suggest that the trading of sex for methamphetamine may be a primary source of new HIV infections within and outside of the MSM community, necessitating targeted interventions with this vulnerable subgroup.
methamphetamine; trading sex; men who have sex with men; sexual risk behavior
Prior research shows that stimulant use is consistently associated with high-risk sexual behavior in samples of men who have sex with men (MSM), but few studies have explored factors associated with use of crack or methamphetamine during sex during specific sexual events among older, very low income MSM. This study examined stimulant use during the most recent sexual episodes in a sample of primarily older, very low-income MSM (n=779). Although crack use was more prevalent than methamphetamine use (33% v. 22%), findings suggest that methamphetamine users may be at greater risk for HIV transmission. HIV prevalence was higher among methamphetamine users (49%) than among crack users (24%). Having unprotected sex (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.46 – 5.26), having sex in a public sex venue (OR 3.63, 95% CI 1.52 – 8.64), having sex with an HIV positive rather than with an HIV negative partner (OR 6.15, 95% CI 2.14 – 17.62), having exchanged sex for money or drugs (OR 4.16, 95% CI 1.78 –9.72), and having a higher number of sexual partners (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.17 – 2.38) all were associated with increased odds of methamphetamine use during sex. Fewer high risk behaviors were associated with increased odds of using crack during sex. Having unprotected sex was associated with increased odds of crack use during sex only when sex partners were perceived to be HIV negative rather than to be HIV positive or of unknown status. Findings provide observations on associations between stimulant use during sex and risk behaviors that may be important to HIV prevention and drug treatment approaches for urban, older, very poor MSM.
methamphetamine; crack; sex; HIV; respondent driven sampling (RDS)
Methamphetamine use has become a major problem among communities of men having sex with men (MSM), where it has been associated with high-risk behaviors. Methamphetamine is often combined with other drugs that may increase its risks and adverse health consequences. To examine differences in background characteristics, HIV-risk behaviors, and psychosocial variables among polydrug-using HIV-positive MSM, the researchers classified a sample of 261 HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using MSM into three user groups: (1) methamphetamine only; (2) methamphetamine, marijuana, and poppers (light polydrug users); and (3) methamphetamine and other drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and ketamine; heavy polydrug users). Only 5% reported using only methamphetamine during the past 2 months; 31% were classified as light polydrug users, and 64% were classified as heavy polydrug users. Heavy polydrug users were significantly younger than light polydrug users (35.6 vs. 38.4, P<.01) and reported using methamphetamine for significantly fewer years (10.3 vs. 14.2 years, P<.001), but did not differ in the amount and frequency of methamphetamine or alcohol consumed. Heavy polydrug users reported significantly more sex partners of HIV-negative and unknown serostatus and had more unprotected sex with these partners. Heavy polydrug users had significantly higher scores on impulsivity and negative self-perceptions, as compared with those of light polydrug users. In this sample of HIV-positive MSM, most of those who used methamphetamine had a pattern of polydrug use. Heavy polydrug users reported significantly more high-risk sexual behaviors and tended toward higher levels of impulsivity than light polydrug users. The implications of these findings are two-fold: (1) Longitudinal research is needed to establish causal relationships among methamphetamine use, impulsivity, negative self-perceptions, and sexual risk behavior in this target population; (2) behavioral interventions should evaluate whether methamphetamine use and sexual risk behavior can be reduced by modifying impulsivity and negative self-perceptions.
HIV; Methamphetamine; MSM; Polydrug abuse; Sexual risk
Methamphetamine use has been associated with rising STI/HIV transmission rates, particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM). Interventions which successfully reduce risk for HIV transmission among this population are a public health priority. This study examined the efficacy of a behavioral intervention for increasing safer sex behaviors in the context of ongoing methamphetamine use in a sample of HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using MSM.
Three-hundred forty one participants from San Diego, CA were randomly assigned to receive either a safer sex behavioral intervention (EDGE) or a time-equivalent diet-and-exercise attention-control condition. Random effects regression analyses were used to evaluate change in safer sex behaviors over a 12-month period.
Participants in the EDGE intervention engaged in significantly more protected sex acts at the 8-month (p = .034) and 12-month assessment (p = 0.007). By 12-months post-baseline, a greater percentage of protected sex acts that was observed for EDGE (25.8%) vs. control participants (18.7%) (p = 0.038). There was a significant time-by-intervention interaction (p = .018) for self-efficacy for condom use, suggesting that EDGE participants’ self-efficacy demonstrated a greater increase over time compared to control participants.
These results suggest that it is possible to reduce high risk sexual behaviors in the context of ongoing methamphetamine use among HIV-infected MSM.
HIV; AIDS; MSM; Safer Sex; Intervention; Methamphetamine
Drug assertiveness skills have been demonstrated effective in reducing substance use behaviors among patients with alcohol- or heroin-use disorders. This study examined the association between drug assertiveness and methamphetamine use, psychological factors, and sexual risk behaviors in a sample of 250 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) enrolled in a safer sex intervention in San Diego, CA. Less assertiveness in turning down drugs was associated with greater frequency and larger amounts of methamphetamine use, lower self-esteem, higher scores on a measure of sexual sensation-seeking, and greater attendance at risky sexual venues. These data suggest that drug assertiveness training should be incorporated into drug abuse treatment programs and other risk reduction interventions for methamphetamine users.
drug assertiveness behavior; methamphetamine; sexual risk behavior; men who have sex with men; HIV-positive
Men who have sex with men (MSM) who use methamphetamine experience high risks for HIV infection due to sexual transmission behaviors often engaged in when under the influence of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine-using MSM use various forms of information technology (IT) communication such as instant messaging, social networking sites, and websites to facilitate a sexual and/or drug “hook up.” Given the acceptability of IT communication in their daily lives, an IT intervention represents an appropriate strategy to reach and intervene with out-of-treatment, methamphetamine-using MSM. The aim of this study was to conduct formative work to develop a text messaging intervention to reduce methamphetamine use and high-risk sexual behaviors among out-of-treatment MSM, which involved conducting focus groups, community partners’ meetings, and a pre-test intervention. These activities culminated in the development of a two-week, text-messaging intervention that delivered real-time electronic correspondence based on the behavioral change theories of Social Support Theory, Health Belief Model, and Social Cognitive Theory. The focus groups, community meetings, and pre-test were used to identify the IT communication device, the text messages that best support risk reduction and healthier behavioral choices, and logo, flyer and website development. The input and feedback from the target population and community partners were critical to the successful development of a culturally appropriate intervention. The knowledge gleaned from the formative work of this study will be vitally helpful in designing future IT studies.
MSM; Methamphetamine; HIV; IT communication; Text messaging.
Using data collected through venue-based sampling in South Florida from 2004 to 2005 as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Among Men Who Have Sex with Men, we estimate the prevalence of crystal methamphetamine use and its association with high-risk sexual behaviors among a large and diverse sample of men who have sex with men (MSM) residing in South Florida. We also examine how these associations differ between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men. Bivariate analyses were used to assess the characteristics of study participants and their sexual risk behaviors by drug use and self-reported HIV status group. Of 946 MSM participants in South Florida, 18% reported crystal methamphetamine use in the past 12 months. Regardless of self-reported HIV status, crystal methamphetamine users were more likely to report high-risk sexual behaviors, an increased number of non-main sex partners, and being high on drugs and/or alcohol at last sex act with a non-main partner. Our findings indicate that crystal methamphetamine use is prevalent among the MSM population in South Florida, and this prevalence rate is similar, if not higher, than that found in US cities that have been long recognized for having a high rate of crystal methamphetamine use among their MSM populations. Notably, the use of crystal methamphetamine among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM is associated with increased HIV-related risk behaviors.
Crystal methamphetamine; MSM; HIV-positive; Injection drug users; Sexual risk behaviors
While methamphetamine users report high rates of internalized or self-stigma, few studies have examined experiences of stigma (i.e., stigmatization by others) and its correlates.
This study identified correlates of stigma experiences in a sample of 438 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, CA.
Approximately 96% of the sample reported experiences of stigma related to their use of methamphetamine. In multiple regression analysis, experiences of stigma were associated with binge use of methamphetamine, injection drug use, increased anger symptoms, reduced emotional support, and lifetime treatment for methamphetamine use.
These findings suggest that experiences of stigma are common among methamphetamine users and that interventions to address this type of stigma and its correlates may offer social, psychological, and health benefits to HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM.
Stigma experiences; Methamphetamine; Men who have sex with men; HIV
Methamphetamine use has been associated with HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, providers have been hesitant to utilize post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in populations of stimulant users. This single-arm, open label pilot study sought to demonstrate the safety, feasibility, and acceptability of PEP combined with the drug abstinence intervention of contingency management (CM) in methamphetamine-using MSM. HIV-uninfected MSM reporting recent methamphetamine use were recruited to a CM intervention. Those who reported a recent high-risk sexual or injection drug exposure to an HIV-infected or serostatus unknown source were initiated on tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada)-based PEP. Participants were followed over 3 months for infectious/biologic, behavioral, and drug use outcomes. Fifty-three participants enrolled in the study; 35 participants (66%) initiated PEP after a high-risk exposure. The median time from exposure to medication administration was 37.8 h (range 12.5–68.0 h). Twenty-five (71.4%) PEP initiators successfully completed the treatment course. Median medication adherence was 96% (IQR 57–100%), and medication was generally well tolerated. Methamphetamine abstinence during CM treatment increased PEP adherence (2% [95% CI +1–+3%]) per clean urine toxicology sample provided), and increased the odds of PEP course completion (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.04–1.31). One incident of HIV seroconversion was observed in a participant who did not complete PEP treatment, and reported multiple subsequent exposures. Findings demonstrate that PEP, when combined with CM, is safe, feasible, and acceptable as an HIV prevention strategy in methamphetamine-using MSM.
Methamphetamine is a major contributor to HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). Recent studies show that up to one-third of methamphetamine-using MSM (MUMSM) inject the drug. We developed a behavioral intervention for MUMSM to decrease unprotected anal intercourse and increase awareness of parenteral HIV transmission risk. This 6-session (3 in-person, 3 by telephone) modular intervention was designed to be tailored to participants’ HIV (+/-) and injection drug user ([IDU] yes/no) status. We present results of formative research used to evaluate the content and to assess feasibility and acceptability of this individual-level HIV risk-reduction intervention.
HIV research clinic in a high MSM and methamphetamine prevalence neighborhood.
Avoiding Risks from Methamphetamine-Use (ARM-U) is a brief toolbox intervention that allows counselors to select modules that suit a client’s individual risk profile and intervention needs employing motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral theory. We evaluated the format and content of the intervention through focus groups and pre-testing of the entire intervention using volunteers from the target population stratified into four groups (HIV+/IDU, HIV-/IDU, HIV+/non-IDU, HIV-/non-IDU). Four individuals in each stratum were recruited to undergo the intervention and complete a satisfaction survey at the end of each in-person session.
In total, 25 MUMSM attended one of five focus groups. Participants thought all proposed intervention topics were important and could aid in reducing sexual risk behaviors among MUMSM. However, the neurocognitive effects of methamphetamine were reported to be a barrier to practicing safer sex, condom use negotiation or HIV status disclosure. Fifteen (94%) of 16 participants completed all 6 sessions and the satisfaction survey. On average, participants felt the intervention was useful for MUMSM, made them contemplate and move toward behavior change, and would recommend the program to their peers.
Based on our formative research, we revised the ARM-U intervention to emphasize pre-planning to avoid combining methamphetamine use and sex or develop strategies to avoid sex risk following methamphetamine use. We also increased emphasis on referrals for care and other requested services. Future efficacy trials are needed to evaluate the intervention’s ability to reduce HIV-associated risk behaviors.
HIV; injection drug use; MSM; methamphetamine; formative research; behavioral intervention.
No approved pharmacologic treatments for methamphetamine dependence exist. Methamphetamine use is associated with high morbidity and is a major cofactor in the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM).
To determine whether mirtazapine would reduce methamphetamine use among MSM who are actively using methamphetamine.
Double-blind, randomized, controlled, 12-week trial of mirtazapine vs placebo conducted from September 5, 2007, to March 4, 2010.
San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Participants were actively using, methamphetamine-dependent, sexually active MSM seen weekly for urine sample collection and substance use counseling.
Random assignment to daily oral mirtazapine (30 mg) or placebo; both arms included 30-minute weekly substance use counseling.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary study outcome was reduction in methamphetamine-positive urine test results. Secondary outcomes were study medication adherence (by self-report and medication event monitoring systems) and sexual risk behavior.
Sixty MSM were randomized, 85% of follow-up visits were completed, and 56 participants (93%) completed the final visit. In the primary intent-to-treat analysis, participants assigned to the mirtazapine group had fewer methamphetamine-positive urine test results compared with participants assigned to the placebo group (relative risk, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.35–0.93, P = .02). Urine positivity decreased from 67% (20 of 30 participants) to 63% (17 of 27) in the placebo arm and from 73% (22 of 30) to 44% (12 of 27) in the mirtazapine arm. The number needed to treat to achieve a negative weekly urine test result was 3.1. Adherence was 48.5% by medication event monitoring systems and 74.7% by self-report; adherence measures were not significantly different between arms (medication event monitoring systems, P = .82; self-report, P = .92). Most sexual risk behaviors decreased significantly more among participants taking mirtazapine compared with those taking placebo (number of male partners with whom methamphetamine was used, P = .009; number of male partners, P = .04; episodes of anal sex with serodiscordant partners, P = .003; episodes of unprotected anal sex with serodiscordant partners, P = .003; episodes of insertive anal sex with serodiscordant partners, P = .001). There were no serious adverse events related to study drug or significant differences in adverse events by arm (P ≥ .99).
The addition of mirtazapine to substance use counseling decreased methamphetamine use among active users and was associated with decreases in sexual risk despite low to moderate medication adherence.
This study examined attitudes about condoms as a moderator of the relationship between methamphetamine use and sexual risk behavior in a sample of 297 HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM). To test for a moderating effect of attitudes towards condoms, an interaction term was included in multiple regression analysis along with age, income, negative condom attitudes, frequency of methamphetamine use, and Beck depression score. A post hoc analysis was conducted to determine the relations between methamphetamine use and unprotected sex for persons with more vs. less negative attitudes toward condoms. These analyses indicated that when individuals had more negative attitudes toward condoms, the relation between methamphetamine frequency and unprotected sex was significant, while among participants with less negative attitudes toward condoms, no significant association was found. Addressing methamphetamine-using MSM’s attitudes about condoms can serve as a form of harm reduction for those who are not yet ready or willing to discontinue methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine; Attitudes; Condoms; Sexual risk; Men who have sex with men
This study examined attitudes about condoms as a moderator of the relationship between methamphetamine use and sexual risk behavior in a sample of 297 HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM). To test for a moderating effect of attitudes towards condoms, an interaction term was included in multiple regression analysis along with age, income, negative condom attitudes, frequency of methamphetamine use, and Beck depression score. A post hoc analysis was conducted to determine the relations between methamphetamine use and unprotected sex for persons with more vs. less negative attitudes toward condoms. These analyses indicated that when individuals had more negative attitudes toward condoms, the relation between methamphetamine frequency and unprotected sex was significant, while among participants with less negative attitudes toward condoms, no significant association was found. Addressing methamphetamine-using MSM's attitudes about condoms can serve as a form of harm reduction for those who are not yet ready or willing to discontinue methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine; Attitudes; Condoms; Sexual risk; Men who have sex with men
This paper explores whether elevated rates of self-reported substance use among MSM compared to other males may be an artifact of reporting bias. Past month prevalence rates of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Ecstasy, and Ketamine use were compared between a sample of men who have sex with men (MSM), and a general household sample of men, all residing in Chicago. We compared rates of self-reported use, and corrected rates based on the results of drug-testing (urine and oral fluid tests). While MSM over 30 years old were significantly more likely than other men in this age group to report past month use of cocaine, test-corrected rates of use were equivalent. On the other hand, test-corrected estimates confirmed elevated rates of Ketamine and Ecstasy use in the MSM sample. Differential disclosure of substance use between MSM and other males may in some cases lead to distorted conclusions about differences in substance use between these groups. The use of biological testing in epidemiological studies of substance use can reduce the uncertainty of such comparisons.
substance use; MSM; reporting bias
In the U.S., incidence of HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) has steadily increased since the 1990s. This points to a need for innovation to address both emerging trends as well as longer-standing disparities in HIV risk and transmission among MSM, such as the elevated rates of HIV/STIs among African American MSM and methamphetamine users. While couple-based sexual risk reduction interventions are a promising avenue to reduce HIV/STI transmission, prior research has been almost exclusively with heterosexual couples. We sought to adapt an existing, evidence-based intervention—originally developed and tested with heterosexual couples—for a new target population consisting of African American MSM in a longer-term same-sex relationship where at least one partner uses methamphetamine. The adaptation process primarily drew from data obtained from a series of focus groups with 8 couples from the target population. Attention is given to the methods used to overcome challenges faced in this adaptation process: limited time, a lead investigator who is phenotypically different from the target population, a dearth of descriptive information on the experiences and worldviews among the target population, and a concomitant lack of topical experts. We also describe a visualization tool used to ensure that the adaptation process promotes and maintains adherence to the theory that guides the intervention and behavior change. The process culminated with an intervention adapted for the new target population as well as preliminary indications that a couple-based sexual-risk reduction intervention for African American, methamphetamine-involved male couples is feasible and attractive.
HIV; prevention; adaptation; men who have sex with men; African American; methamphetamine; couples.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest incidence of HIV infection in the United States. One of the contributing factors to HIV spread among this group is the use of crystal methamphetamine (“meth”). The objective was to review the behavioral impact of crystal meth use in HIV-infected MSM and potential treatment options. A systematic review of MEDLINE identified studies that evaluated the clinical effects of crystal meth on the HIV-infected MSM population. Search terms included HIV, methamphetamine, MSM, antiretroviral therapy, adherence, resistance, and treatment. U.S. citations in the English language in peer-reviewed journals until December 2010 were included. The primary author reviewed eligible articles, and relevant data including study design, sample, and outcomes were entered into an electronic data table. The 61 included studies highlight that HIV-infected MSM who use crystal meth are more likely to report high-risk sexual behaviors, incident sexually transmitted infections, and serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse, compared to HIV-infected MSM who do not use crystal meth. Medication adherence in this population is notably low, which may contribute to transmission of resistant virus. No medications have proven effective in the treatment of crystal meth addiction, and the role of behavioral therapies, such as contingency management are still in question. HIV-infected MSM who abuse crystal meth have worse HIV-related health outcomes. Behavioral interventions have shown variable results in treating crystal meth addiction, and more investigation into rehabilitation options are needed. The results presented support efforts to develop and implement novel interventions to reduce crystal meth use in HIV-infected MSM.
Data on intentional condomless anal intercourse in risky contexts, also known as “barebacking,” among ethnic minority MSM, whose rates of HIV infection continue to rise, is extremely limited. In this study, thirty-one Latino MSM who seek barebacking partners via the Internet underwent in-depth interviews about bareback sex and its association to pleasure, substance use, HIV concerns, and cultural identity. Participants reported engaging in bareback sex due to the physical and emotional pleasure they experience. They expressed concern about HIV infection and took steps to reduce risk of infection. While a majority of participants reported using alcohol or drugs in the context of bareback sex, substance use did not appear to propel the behavior. Crystal methamphetamine use, prevalent only among our HIV-positive participants, was related to very high HIV-risk behavior. In this sample, culture did not seem to play a large role in barebacking.
HIV Prevention; Condoms; Latino; Gay
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.
We investigated the impact of recruitment bias within the venue-based sampling (VBS) method, which is widely used to estimate disease prevalence and risk factors among groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), that congregate at social venues.
In a 2008 VBS study of 479 MSM in New York City, we calculated venue-specific approach rates (MSM approached/MSM counted) and response rates (MSM interviewed/MSM approached), and then compared crude estimates of HIV risk factors and seroprevalence with estimates weighted to address the lower selection probabilities of MSM who attend social venues infrequently or were recruited at high-volume venues.
Our approach rates were lowest at dance clubs, gay pride events, and public sex strolls, where venue volumes were highest; response rates ranged from 39% at gay pride events to 95% at community-based organizations. Sixty-seven percent of respondents attended MSM-oriented social venues at least weekly, and 21% attended such events once a month or less often in the past year. In estimates adjusted for these variations, the prevalence of several past-year risk factors (e.g., unprotected anal intercourse with casual/exchange partners, ≥5 total partners, group sex encounters, at least weekly binge drinking, and hard-drug use) was significantly lower compared with crude estimates. Adjusted HIV prevalence was lower than unadjusted prevalence (15% vs. 18%), but not significantly.
Not adjusting VBS data for recruitment biases could overestimate HIV risk and prevalence when the selection probability is greater for higher-risk MSM. While further examination of recruitment-adjustment methods for VBS data is needed, presentation of both unadjusted and adjusted estimates is currently indicated.
To describe temporal trends in methamphetamine use among young injection drug users (IDU) in San Francisco.
Design and Methods
Secondary analysis of cross-sectional baseline data collected for a longitudinal study of young IDU from 1998 to 2004. Participants were 1445 young IDU (< 30 years old) who reported injection in the previous month, English-speaking, and recruited by street outreach methods. We examined trends for: lifetime (ever) and recent (30-day) methamphetamine use, including injected and non-injected, and by age group and sexual risk behaviour [men who have sex with men injecting drug users (MSM-IDU), male IDU (non-MSM) and female IDU].
In 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004 we interviewed 237, 276, 431, 310, 147 and 44 participants, respectively. Overall, median age was 22 years [interquartile range (IQR) 20 – 25], 30.3% were women and median duration of injecting was 4.4 years (IQR 2 – 7). Prevalence of methamphetamine use was high, with 50.1% reporting recent injection, but overall there were no temporal increases in reported ‘ever’ injected use. Recent methamphetamine injection (past 30 days) increased significantly, and peaked at 60% in 2003. MSM-IDU had higher methamphetamine injection ever (92.3%) and recently (59.5%) compared to heterosexual male (non-MSM) IDU (81.6% and 47.3%, respectively) and to female IDU (78.4% and 46.1%, respectively).
Despite reports of ubiquitous increases in methamphetamine use, there were no significant increases in 6 years in ever injecting methamphetamine overall among young IDU. MSM-IDU who reported the highest methamphetamine use overall reported some increases in recent injected use. The methamphetamine ‘epidemic’ was probably under way among young IDU earlier than other populations.
injection drug use; methamphetamine; MSM-IDU; prevalence; trends; young injectors
There is evidence that methamphetamine and sildenafil (Viagra) use are associated with sexual risk behaviour among men who have sex with men (MSM). We investigated the association of methamphetamine, sildenafil, and other substance use with unprotected receptive and insertive anal sex among MSM by conducting an encounter specific analysis.
Data were from a cross sectional, community based survey of MSM in San Francisco regarding behaviour during their most recent anal sex encounter. Mulitvariate regression analysed independent associations of specific substance use and demographic variables with unprotected anal sex behaviours.
The sample (n = 388) was diverse in race/ethnicity, age, income, education, HIV status, and homosexual/bisexual identification. More than half (53%) reported unprotected anal sex, including insertive (29%) and receptive (37%) during their most recent anal sex encounter; 12% reported unprotected insertive and 17% reported unprotected receptive anal sex with an HIV discordant or unknown partner. Methamphetamine was used by 15% and sildenafil was used by 6% of the men before or during the encounter; 2% used both drugs. In multivariate analysis controlling for demographic factors and other substance use, methamphetamine use was associated with unprotected receptive (odds ratio (OR), 2.03; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09 to 3.76) and sildenafil use was associated with unprotected insertive (OR, 6.51; CI, 2.46 to 17.24) anal sex. Effects were stronger with HIV discordant or unknown sex partners specifically.
Encounter specific associations of methamphetamine and sildenafil use with unprotected receptive and insertive anal sex, respectively, indicate the importance of assessment specificity and tailoring risk reduction efforts to address certain drugs and sexual behavioural roles among MSM.
MSM; sexual risk; sildenafil; Viagra; methamphetamine
Our research aims were to: 1) assess the prevalence of two condom use problems: breakage or slippage and partial use (delayed application or early removal) among men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking services in urban U.S. STD clinics; and 2) examine the association between these condom use problems and participant, partner and partnership characteristics. Analysis is restricted to HIV-negative MSM who reported having anal sex at least once in the preceding 3 months and who completed both the baseline and 3-month follow-up assessments. Two models were fitted using the GEE approach. A total of 263 MSM (median age=32 years) reported 990 partnerships. Partnerships with no condom use 422 (42.6%) were excluded. Thus, 207 MSM and 568 partnerships were included. Among condom users, 100% use was reported within 454 partnerships (79.9%) and <100% within 114 (20.1%), and 21(3.7%) reported both condom use problems, 25 (4.4%) reported only breakage, 67 (11.8%) reported only partial use, and 455 (80.1%) reported no errors. The breakage or slippage and partial use rates per condom used were 3.4% and 11.2%, respectively. A significantly higher rate of breakage or slippage occurred among non-main partnerships. Characteristics associated with increased odds for condom breakage or slippage were: lower education level (OR=2.78; CI: 1.1-7.5), non-main partner status (OR=4.1; CI: 1.5-11.7), and drunk or high during sex (OR=2.0; CI: 1.1-3.8), and for partial use: lower education level (OR=2.6; CI: 1.0-6.6), perceived partner STI risk (OR=2.4; CI:1.3-4.2), and inconsistent condom use (OR=3.7; CI:2.0-6.6). A high percentage of MSM partnerships reported no condom use and among condom users, a sizable proportion did not use them consistently or correctly. MSM may benefit from interventions designed to increase proficiency for condom use with a particular focus on the behaviors of inconsistent and partial condom use.
In the United States, Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV. Latino MSM are a diverse group who differ culturally based on their countries or regions of birth and their time in the United States. We assessed differences in HIV prevalence and testing among Latino MSM by location of birth, time since arrival, and other social determinants of health.
For the 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System, a cross-sectional survey conducted in large US cities, MSM were interviewed and tested for HIV infection. We used generalized estimating equations to test associations between various factors and 1) prevalent HIV infection and 2) being tested for HIV infection in the past 12 months.
Among 1734 Latino MSM, HIV prevalence was 19%. In multivariable analysis, increasing age, low income, and gay identity were associated with HIV infection. Moreover, men who were U.S.-born or who arrived ≥5 years ago had significantly higher HIV prevalence than recent immigrants. Among men not reporting a previous positive HIV test, 63% had been tested for HIV infection in the past 12 months; recent testing was most strongly associated with having seen a health care provider and disclosing male-male attraction/sexual behavior to a health care provider.
We identified several social determinants of health associated with HIV infection and testing among Latino MSM. Lower HIV prevalence among recent immigrants contrasts with higher prevalence among established immigrants and suggests a critical window of opportunity for HIV prevention, which should prioritize those with low income, who are at particular risk for HIV infection. Expanding health care utilization and encouraging communication with health care providers about sexual orientation may increase testing.