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.
China has 76.2 million high school and college students, in which the number of reported HIV/AIDS cases is increasing rapidly. Most of these cases are attributed to male-to-male sexual contact. Few studies have explored HIV prevalence and behavioural characteristics of Chinese male students who have sex with men (MSM).
A cross-sectional study of MSM high school and college students in Liaoning Province was conducted. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and blood specimens were obtained and tested for HIV and syphilis.
There were 436 eligible participants. HIV and syphilis prevalence was 3.0% and 5.0%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, sexual orientation known by family members (OR: 7.3; 95% CI: 1.5-34.6), HIV/AIDS information obtained from clinical doctors (OR: 6.7; 95% CI: 1.7-25.9), HIV/AIDS information obtained through free educational services and materials such as voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and condom distribution services (OR: 0.2; 95% CI: 0.4-1.0), inconsistent condom use (OR: 5.7; 95%: 1.3-25.3), sexual partner experienced anal bleeding after insertive anal intercourse (OR: 6.8; 95% CI: 1.6-28.4), and history of illegal drug use (OR: 18.9; 95% CI: 2.2-165.3) were found to be significantly associated with HIV infection.
Greater effort should be made towards stemming the HIV and syphilis epidemics among Chinese student MSM. Immediate screening and comprehensive interventions towards student MSM should be implemented in order to curb the spread of HIV. Family and school-based interventions should be considered to target this educated, yet vulnerable, population.
HIV; syphilis; China; men who have sex with men (MSM); high school students; college students
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.
The risks for Chinese male university students who have sex with other men (MSM) have not been compared with those for non-MSM students. This information is important for the development of targeted HIV prevention programmes for this population.
Sexually active MSM and non-MSM students were compared for demographic characteristics, sexual behaviour, and related psychosocial variables using bivariate analyses. The data were a subset drawn from a large-scale cross-sectional questionnaire survey of sexually active male students conducted at two universities in a large city in Zhejiang Province, China, in 2003.
Of 1824 sexually active male students, 68 (3.7%) reported having had sex with a man at least once; 33.8% of these 68 men had also had female partners. Compared with non-MSM students, MSM students were 3–6.5 times more likely to have had sexual encounters with casual or commercial sex partners and were three times less likely to have protected sex in the past year or during their lifetime. They were three to five times more likely to have had multiple partners and 15 times more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease (STD). In addition, the MSM students knew half as much about HIV and had less condom-decision than did non-MSM students and were two times more accepting of commercial sex. However, the MSM students were twice as aware of the risks for HIV infection.
MSM composed 3–4% of the male sexually active university student population studied and was found to be at greater risk than non-MSM students for STD/HIV infection. There is an urgent need for STD/HIV programmes in university health services that take into consideration the sexuality and psychosocial issues of MSM students.
To examine the correlates for syphilis and the prevalence for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) in Beijing, China. A total of 541 MSM was recruited using peer-referral, community outreach, and Internet. Questionnaire-based interviews provided information including, demographics, sexual and other risk behaviors. HIV prevalence was 4.8%, syphilis 19.8%, HCV 0.4% and HBsAg 6.5%. The median number of lifetime male sex partners was ten. In the past 3 months, 20.7% drank alcohol ≥1 times per week. In the past month, 21.3 and 14.6% had unprotected anal intercourse with regular and casual male sex partners, respectively. Syphilis infection was associated with less education, alcohol use, finding male sex partners through bathhouses/public washrooms/parks, and diagnoses of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). Syphilis is now epidemic among Beijing's MSM. Prevention efforts are urgent as HIV prevalence is already near 5%. Education, condom promotion, STD control, and alcohol-related intervention are needed urgently.
China; Men who have sex with men; Syphilis; HIV; Sexually transmitted disease (STD); Risk behavior
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.
This study aims to estimate the magnitude and changing trends of HIV, syphilis and HIV-syphilis co-infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China during 2003–2008 through a systematic review of published literature.
Chinese and English literatures were searched for studies reporting HIV and syphilis prevalence among MSM from 2003 to 2008. The prevalence estimates were summarized and analysed by meta-analyses. Meta-regression was used to identify the potential factors that are associated with high heterogeneities in meta-analysis. Seventy-one eligible articles were selected in this review (17 in English and 54 in Chinese). Nationally, HIV prevalence among MSM increased from 1.3% during 2003–2004 to 2.4% during 2005–2006 and to 4.7% during 2007–2008. Syphilis prevalence increased from 6.8% during 2003–2004 to 10.4% during 2005–2006 and to 13.5% during 2007–2008. HIV-syphilis co-infection increased from 1.4% during 2005–2006 to 2.7% during 2007–2008. Study locations and study period are the two major contributors of heterogeneities of both HIV and syphilis prevalence among Chinese MSM.
There have been significant increases in HIV and syphilis prevalence among MSM in China. Scale-up of HIV and syphilis screening and implementation of effective public health intervention programs should target MSM to prevent further spread of HIV and syphilis infection.
High rates of syphilis have been reported among men who have sex with men (MSM) internationally. Guidelines recommend presumptive treatment of sexual contacts of individuals with syphilis at the point of care. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion who were infected with syphilis and the factors predictive of infection among men reporting contact with a man with syphilis.
Contacts who were syphilis infected (cases) were compared with those who were uninfected (controls).
This study was conducted at the main public sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Victoria, Australia.
One hundred and seventy-two MSM presenting as sexual contacts of men with syphilis at a sexual health service in Melbourne, Australia, between July 2007 and October 2011 were assessed for syphilis.
Proportion of MSM who are infected with syphilis and factors associated with infection.
Of the 172 men who presented reporting contact with syphilis, 26 (15%, 95% CI 10 to 20%) had syphilis. One man had primary syphilis, 4 had secondary syphilis, while the remaining 21 had early latent syphilis. Infection was associated with unprotected anal sex over the prior 3 months (adjusted OR 6.1, 95% CI 1.4 to 26.8).
One in seven men presenting as contacts of syphilis had syphilis infection, most of whom were latently infected. Contacts reporting recent unprotected anal sex were more likely to have syphilis.
Epidemiology -Syphylis; men who have sex with men; partner notification; contact tracing
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected with HIV in the US. Limited event-specific data have been reported in Black MSM to help understand factors associated with increased risk of infection. Cross-sectional National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study data from 503 MSM who reported ≥1 male sexual partner in the past year in New York City (NYC) were analyzed. Case-crossover analysis compared last protected and last unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). A total of 503 MSM were enrolled. Among 349 tested for HIV, 18% were positive. Black MSM (N = 117) were more likely to test HIV positive and not know their HIV-positive status than other racial/ethnic groups. Case-crossover analysis of 208 MSM found that men were more likely to engage in protected anal intercourse with a first time partner and with a partner of unknown HIV status. Although Black MSM were more likely to have Black male partners, they were not more likely to have UAI with those partners or to have a partner aged >40 years. In conclusion, HIV prevalence was high among Black MSM in NYC, as was lack of awareness of HIV-positive status. Having a sexual partner of same race/ethnicity or older age was not associated with having UAI among Black MSM.
HIV infection; Sexual partnering; Black men who have sex with men; African American; Unprotected anal intercourse
To 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.
Prevention interventions have had little impact on syphilis outbreaks among men who have sex with men (MSM) and diagnosis rates continue to rise rapidly. Detailed studies of the determinants of syphilis transmission are needed to inform new prevention interventions.
To investigate factors associated with recent syphilis diagnosis and recommend strategies for improved prevention interventions.
A case‐control study of MSM attending genitourinary medicine (GUM) and HIV outpatient clinics. Cases were MSM testing positive for early syphilis, based on either laboratory or microscopy results, with those testing negative being controls. All participants completed the same anonymous questionnaire covering demographics, lifestyle, sexual behaviour, and sexual partnerships.
50 cases and 108 controls returned questionnaires. Syphilis diagnosis was significantly associated with sexually transmitted infection history, recent recreational drug use, receptive anal sex practices, but not insertive ones, higher numbers of oral sex partners, but not specific oral sex practices. Overall, there were no differences between HIV positive and HIV negative/untested men in reporting of sexual behaviours or partnership combinations. The use of public sex settings (backrooms, saunas, “cruising grounds,” etc) was reported by 68% of all participants and not significantly associated with syphilis diagnosis.
Many key behavioural and partnership risk factors for syphilis are also risk behaviours for HIV transmission and point to the need for integrated strategies that tackle the two infections together. Simplified procedures for syphilis screening should be available in GUM clinical settings, along with targeted community outreach prevention interventions.
syphilis; prevention; case‐control study; homosexual men
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
Although various HIV prevention programs targeting men who have sex with men (MSM) are operating in China, whether and how these programs are being utilized is unclear. This study explores participation of HIV prevention programs and influencing factors among MSM in two cities in China.
This is a mixed-method study conducted in Beijing and Chongqing. A qualitative study consisting of in-depth interviews with 54 MSM, 11 key informants, and 8 focus group discussions, a cross-sectional survey using respondent-driven sampling among 998 MSM were conducted in 2009 and 2010 respectively to elicit information on MSM’s perception and utilization of HIV prevention programs. Qualitative findings were integrated with quantitative multivariate factors to explain the quantitative findings.
Fifty-six percent of MSM in Chongqing and 75.1% in Beijing ever participated in at least one type of HIV prevention program (P=0.001). Factors related to participation in HIV prevention programs included age, ethnicity, income, HIV risk perception, living with boyfriend, living in urban area, size of MSM social network, having talked about HIV status with partners, and knowing someone who is HIV positive. Reasons why MSM did not participate in HIV prevention programs included logistical concerns like limited time for participation and distance to services; program content and delivery issues such as perceived low quality services and distrust of providers; and, cultural issues like HIV-related stigma and low risk perception.
The study shows that there is much room for improvement in reaching MSM in China. HIV prevention programs targeting MSM in China may need to be more comprehensive and incorporate the cultural, logistic and HIV-related needs of the population in order to effectively reach and affect this population’s risk for HIV.
MSM; HIV prevention programs; Utilization; Participation; China
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.
The dual risks of male-to-male sex and drug injection have put men who have sex with men and inject drugs (MSM-IDU) at the forefront of the HIV epidemic, with the highest rates of infection among any risk group in the United States. This study analyzes data collected from 357 MSM-IDU in San Francisco between 1998 and 2002 to examine how risk behaviors differ by HIV serostatus and self-identified sexual orientation and to assess medical and social service utilization among HIV-positive MSM-IDU. Twenty-eight percent of the sample tested HIV antibody positive. There was little difference in risk behaviors between HIV-negative and HIV-positive MSM-IDU. Thirty percent of HIV-positive MSM-IDU reported distributive syringe sharing, compared to 40% of HIV negatives. Among MSM-IDU who reported anal intercourse in past 6 months, 70% of positives and 66% of HIV negatives reported unprotected anal intercourse. HIV status varied greatly by self-identified sexual orientation: 46% among gay, 24% among bisexual, and 14% among heterosexual MSM-IDU. Heterosexual MSM-IDU were more likely than other MSM-IDU to be homeless and to trade sex for money or drugs. Gay MSM-IDU were more likely to have anal intercourse. Bisexual MSM-IDU were as likely as heterosexual MSM-IDU to have sex with women and as likely as gay-identified MSM-IDU to have anal intercourse. Among MSM-IDU who were HIV positive, 15% were currently on antiretroviral therapy and 18% were currently in drug treatment, and 87% reported using a syringe exchange program in the past 6 months. These findings have implications for the development of HIV interventions that target the diverse MSM-IDU population.
MSM; Injection drug user; Methamphetamine; HIV; Epidemiology; MSM-IDU; Sexual risk
Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This study was designed to explore sexual risk among MSM using community-based participatory research (CBPR). An academic-community partnership conducted nine focus groups with 88 MSM. Participants self-identified as African American/Black (n=28), Hispanic/Latino (n=33), white (n=21), and bi-racial/ethnic (n=6). Mean age was 27 (range 18–60) years. Grounded theory was used. Twelve themes related to HIV risk emerged, including low HIV and STD knowledge particularly among Latino MSM and MSM who use the Internet for sexual networking; stereotyping of African American MSM as sexually “dominant” and Latino MSM as less likely to be HIV infected; and the eroticization of “barebacking.” Twelve intervention approaches also were identified, including developing culturally congruent programming using community-identified assets; harnessing social media used by informal networks of MSM; and promoting protection within the context of intimate relationships. A community forum was held to develop recommendations and move these themes to action.
The MSM (Men who have sex with men) population suffers from very high rates of concurrent psychosocial problems. Together, these problems comprise a syndemic that increases the risk of HIV infection for this community. The precise mechanisms through which this syndemic can raise the likelihood of HIV infection warrant further exploration.
A total of 522 MSM were enrolled via a multiframe sampling approach and were asked to report psychosocial problems, risky sexual behaviors and HIV test results. A count of psychosocial health problems was calculated to test the additive relationship of these factors on HIV risk. Adjusting analysis and restriction analysis were used to determine a proposed intermediate pathway. Psychosocial health problems are highly concurrent and intercorrelated among urban MSM. Greater numbers of health problems are significantly and positively associated with HIV infection, which is mediated, at least partially, by risky sexual behaviors.
MSM experience concurrent psychosocial health problems that correlate with HIV infection in this community. We recommend the development of coping strategies for this population to deal with these psychosocial problems, both in prevention research and health policy.
To provide insight into the role of commercial sex venues in the spread of syphilis and HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM).
A cross sectional study of 1351 MSM who were diagnosed with early syphilis who did and did not encounter sexual partners at commercial sex venues.
Overall, 26% MSM diagnosed with syphilis had sexual encounters at commercial sex venues. Of these, 74% were HIV positive, 94% reported anonymous sex, and 66% did not use a condom. Compared to those who did not have a sexual encounter at these venues, they were twice as likely to be HIV positive (OR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.68), six times more likely to have anonymous sex (OR = 6.18, 95% CI 3.37 to 11.32), twice as likely not to use condom (OR = 2.02, 95% CI 1.71 to 2.38), and twice as likely to use non‐injecting drugs (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.37).
MSM diagnosed with syphilis who frequent commercial sex venues are engaging in high risk behaviours for syphilis and HIV transmission and acquisition. Thus commercial sex venues are one of the focal points of syphilis and HIV transmission and acquisition.
commercial sex venues; syphilis; HIV; risk behaviours; men who have sex with men
Internet-based sampling methods may reach men who have sex with men (MSM) who don’t attend physical venues frequented by MSM and may be at higher risk of HIV infection.
Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine characteristics of adult MSM participants in 2 studies conducted in the same 5 U.S. cities: the 2003-2005 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) which used sampling from physical MSM venues (e.g., bars, clubs) and the 2007 Web-based HIV Behavioral Surveillance (WHBS) pilot which used sampling through online banner advertisements.
Among 5024 WHBS MSM, 95% attended a physical MSM venue in the past 12 months, and 75% attended weekly. WHBS MSM who were black, aged 18-21 years, not college educated, bisexual- or heterosexual-identifying, and reported unknown HIV serostatus were less likely to have attended a physical MSM venue in the past 12 months (all p<0.01). Compared to NHBS MSM, WHBS MSM were more likely to be white, younger, college-educated, report unknown HIV serostatus, report unprotected anal intercourse with a casual partner, and have first met that partner online (all p<0.0001). WHBS MSM were less likely to have been under the influence of drugs during most recent sex (p=0.01) or not know their sex partner’s HIV serostatus (p<0.0001).
Many MSM recruited online also attended physical venues, but attendance varied by sub-group. Participants in WHBS and NHBS differed, and WHBS may represent a group of MSM at higher risk of HIV infection. These findings suggest that an internet-based method may be a useful supplement to NHBS.
MSM; HIV; internet; gay; sex.
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
Information about risky sexual behavior among people living with HIV/AIDS is important to prevent the spread of the disease. Using an anonymous, self-administrated questionnaire, we surveyed 185 HIV-infected patients about risk behaviors at the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Croatia. Unprotected anal or vaginal sex in the preceding 6 months with partners of uninfected/unknown HIV status was reported by 20% of men who have sex with men (MSM), about half of whom reported multiple casual partners of unknown HIV status; 6% of heterosexual men; and 3% of women. Heterosexual patients were potentially more likely to expose regular partners to HIV but reported no risk behaviors with casual, non-concordant partners. MSM reported more risk behaviors, which were strongly associated with having ≥2 sexual partners in the last 6 months and both insertive and receptive anal sex. Educational interventions in Croatia should target MSM to prevent high rates of HIV transmission
Men who have sex with men; Risk factors; Condom use; Croatia; HIV
Objectives: To assess the prevalence of syphilis infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) accessing the Brisbane Sexual Health Clinic during the period 1997 up to May 2003, data were collated through three clinical programmes conducted by the service—a large inner city mainstream sexual health clinic and two small outreach sessional clinics conducted on the site of male sex on premises venues (SOPV). Data analysis also provided the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the smaller outreach clinics to access populations of MSM less likely to attend or identify at the larger mainstream clinic, and therefore enhance the detection of previously undiagnosed sexually transmissible infections.
Methods: Computerised records from 1997–2003 were collated for a statistical analysis of syphilis and other STI pathology results for all MSM accessing the mainstream clinic, and two outreach clinics.
Results: A review of client charts showed that 16 new syphilis diagnoses were made over the previous 5 years, but only two of these infections (both through the mainstream clinic) were early syphilis and therefore transmissible. All other cases were latent infections. A higher proportion of bisexual men was identified with positive syphilis serology but this was just below significance (p = 0.06). Significantly, almost a third of syphilis diagnoses (all latent) were made at SOPV outreach clinics, despite the much lower proportion of clients seen overall through the SOPV clinics. For other sexually transmissible infections, the mainstream clinic demonstrated greater efficiency at case detection.
Conclusion: Outreach clinics located in male saunas may serve an effective function in syphilis screening by facilitating access for a particular subpopulation of MSM (bisexual, married men). These outreach clinics may provide important outlets for education and opportunistic screening of asymptomatic MSM and foster a greater willingness for men to honestly self identify. However, larger, mainstream clinics serve a more anonymous venue for the testing of symptomatic men.
Partner notification (PN) among individuals newly diagnosed with HIV/STI is seen as a vital tool to identify others at risk of infection. However, hardly any data are available on the effectiveness of PN on HIV/STI transmission in the Netherlands. This study aims to fill this gap by assessing current PN practices, case-finding effectiveness, and determinants of being notified among men having sex with men (MSM) in the Netherlands.
Nurses from five STI centers participated in a prospective pilot study on PN outcomes (partners being: at risk, notifiable, notified, and tested) for HIV/STI, by completing a newly developed PN registration form (PN database). PN outcomes including case-finding effectiveness (number of newly diagnosed cases in partners/number of partners being tested) for HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhoea were studied among MSM. Furthermore, the national STI database was analyzed to identify determinants of being notified. The number of infections that remained undetected was estimated based on these two databases.
In total 105 MSM, newly diagnosed with HIV/STI, reported 612 sexual partners at risk of whom 41% were notifiable and 31% were notified. Patient referral was the predominant PN method (90%). The overall case-finding percentage was 36% (HIV: 15-33%, gonorrhoea: 17-50% and syphilis: 4-11%). Case-finding percentages were lower in the national STI database: 21% (5%, 28%, 12%). Persons with one or more sexual partners, known HIV positives, and IDU were more likely to be notified to the STI clinic. Notified clients were more likely to have HIV/STI than unnotified clients (OR 1.7-2.5). Based on these two databases, an estimated 75 to 133 infections remained undetected (HIV: 12–90; gonorrhoea: 28–97; syphilis: 5–12 infections).
Partner notification among MSM in the Netherlands is suboptimal; an extensive number of STI/HIV infections remained undetected mainly due to unnotifiable partners. To enhance PN practices, combined and innovative PN interventions such as Internet-based PN will be implemented for hard-to-reach MSM and other risk groups.
Partner notification; MSM; HIV; Syphilis; Gonorrhoea; The Netherlands
Uganda's generalized HIV epidemic is well described, including an estimated adult male HIV prevalence in Kampala of 4.5%, but no data are available on the prevalence of and risk factors for HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM).
From May 2008 to February 2009, we used respondent-driven sampling to recruit MSM ≥18 years old in Kampala who reported anal sex with another man in the previous three months. We collected demographic and HIV-related behavioral data through audio computer-assisted self-administered interviews. Laboratory testing included biomarkers for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. We obtained population estimates adjusted for the non-random sampling frame using RDSAT and STATA. 300 MSM were surveyed over 11 waves; median age was 25 years (interquartile range, 21–29 years). Overall HIV prevalence was 13.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.9%–20.1%), and was higher among MSM ≥25 years (22.4%) than among MSM aged 18–24 years (3.9%, odds ratio [OR] 5.69, 95% CI 2.02–16.02). In multivariate analysis, MSM ≥25 years (adjusted OR [aOR] 4.32, 95% CI 1.33–13.98) and those reporting ever having been exposed to homophobic abuse (verbal, moral, sexual, or physical abuse; aOR 5.38, 95% CI 1.95–14.79) were significantly more likely to be HIV infected.
MSM in Kampala are at substantially higher risk for HIV than the general adult male population. MSM reporting a lifetime history of homophobic abuse are at increased risk of being HIV infected. Legal challenges and stigma must be overcome to provide access to tailored HIV prevention and care services.
In 2003, for the first time since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections in Germany increased considerably compared to the previous year. The increase was largely restricted to men who have sex with men (MSM) from larger cities. In this group the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections increased about 30% compared to 2002. Since the late 1990s syphilis infections among MSM also increased in Germany, concentrated in larger cities.