Where surveillance has been done, it has shown that men (MSM) who have sex with men bear a disproportionate burden of HIV. Yet they continue to be excluded, sometimes systematically, from HIV services because of stigma, discrimination, and criminalisation. This situation must change if global control of the HIV epidemic is to be achieved. On both public health and human rights grounds, expansion of HIV prevention, treatment, and care to MSM is an urgent imperative. Effective combination prevention and treatment approaches are feasible, and culturally competent care can be developed, even in rights-challenged environments. Condom and lubricant access for MSM globally is highly cost effective. Antiretroviral-based prevention, and antiretroviral access for MSM globally, would also be cost effective, but would probably require substantial reductions in drug costs in high-income countries to be feasible. To address HIV in MSM will take continued research, political will, structural reform, community engagement, and strategic planning and programming, but it can and must be done.
To increase access to HIV-testing the WHO and CDC have recommended implementing provider-initiated HIV-testing (PITC). To address the resource limitations of the PITC setting WHO and CDC suggest that patient-provider interactions during PITC may need to focus on providing information and referrals instead of engaging patients in client-centered counseling as is recommended during client-initiated HIV-testing. Providing HIV-prevention information has been shown to be less effective than client-centered counseling at reducing HIV-risk behavior and STI incidence. Therefore, concerns exist about the efficacy of PITC as an HIV-prevention approach. However, reductions in HIV incidence may be larger if more people know their HIV-status through expanded availability of PITC, even if PITC is less effective than is client-initiated HIV-testing for individual patients. In the absence of an answer to this public health question, adaptation of effective brief client-centered counseling approaches to PITC should be explored along with research assessing the efficacy of PITC.
provider-initiated HIV-testing; client-centered counseling; HIV prevention; developing countries
As HIV prevalence climbs globally, including more than 50,000 new infections per year in the United States, we need effective HIV prevention strategies. The use of antiretrovirals for pre-exposure prophylaxis (known as “PrEP”) among high-risk HIV-uninfected persons is emerging as one such strategy. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that once daily oral PrEP decreased HIV incidence among at-risk MSM and African heterosexuals, including HIV serodiscordant couples. An additional randomized control trial of a pericoital topical application of antiretroviral microbicide gel reduced HIV incidence among at-risk heterosexual South African women. Two other studies in African women did not demonstrate the efficacy of oral or topical PrEP, raising concerns about adherence patterns and efficacy in this population. The FDA Antiretroviral Advisory Panel reviewed these studies and additional data in May 2012 and recommended the approval of oral tenofovir-emtricitabine for PrEP in high-risk populations. Patients may seek PrEP from their primary care providers and those on PrEP require monitoring. Thus, primary care providers should become familiar with PrEP. This review outlines the current state of knowledge about PrEP as it pertains to primary care including identification of individuals likely to benefit from PrEP, counseling to maximize adherence and minimize potential increases in risky behavior, and monitoring for potential drug toxicities, HIV acquisition, and antiretroviral drug resistance. Issues related to cost and insurance coverage are also discussed. Recent data suggest that PrEP, in conjunction with other prevention strategies, holds promise in helping to curtail the HIV epidemic.
Indian truck drivers and their younger apprentice drivers are at increased risk of HIV infection. We determine network and risk practices associated with willingness to adopt HIV prevention interventions currently not being used in India: rapid HIV testing, circumcision, and preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in order to inform the National AIDS Control Program (NACP). Truck drivers and truck cleaners were systematically recruited to participate in a social network and risk survey in Hyderabad, Southern India. Three separate composite measures of acceptability of rapid HIV testing, circumcision, and PrEP acceptability were utilized to independently assess the relationship of these prevention interventions with risk-practices and social network characteristics. An 89% participation rate yielded 1602 truck drivers and truck cleaners with 54.2% younger than 30 years of age and 2.8% HIV infected. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported sex with female sex workers (FSW) and 5% with men (MSM). Rapid testing, circumcision, and PrEP acceptability were 97.4%, 9.1%, and 85.9%, respectively. Participants reporting prosocial network characteristics were more accepting of rapid testing (adjusted odds ratio [AORs] 3.07–6.71; p<0.05) and demonstrated variable PrEP acceptability (AORs 0.08–2.22; p<0.001). Sex with FSWs was associated with PrEP acceptability (AOR 4.27; p<0.001); sex with MSM was associated with circumcision acceptability only (AOR 2.66; p<0.01). Social network factors and risk-practices were associated with novel prevention acceptability, but not consistently across intervention type and with variable directionality. The NACP will need to consider that intervention uptake may likely be most successful when efforts are targeted to individuals with specific behavior and social network characteristics.
Benefits of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) depend on consistent HIV care attendance. However, appointment non-adherence (i.e. missed appointments) is common even in programs that reduce financial barriers. Demographic, health/treatment, and psychosocial contributors to appointment non-adherence were examined among men who have sex with men (MSM) attending HIV primary care. Participants (n = 503) completed questionnaires, and HIV biomarker data were extracted from medical records. At 12 months, records were reviewed to assess HIV primary care appointment non-adherence. Among MSM, 31.2% missed without cancellation at least one appointment during 12-month study period. Independent predictors (P < 0.05) were: low income (OR = 1.87); African American (OR = 3.00) and Hispanic/Latino (OR = 4.31) relative to non-Hispanic White; depression (OR = 2.01); and low expectancy for appointments to prevent/treat infection (OR = 2.38), whereas private insurance (OR = 0.48) and older age (OR = 0.94) predicted lower risk. Low self-efficacy predicted marginal risk (OR = 2.74, P = 0.10). The following did not independently predict risk for non-adherence: education, relationship status, general health, time since HIV diagnosis, ART history, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV stigma, or supportive clinic staff. Appointment non-adherence is prevalent, particularly among younger and racial/ethnic minority MSM. Socioeconomic barriers, depression and low appointment expectancy and self-efficacy may be targets to increase care engagement.
HIV; Missed appointments; Adherence; Depression; PTSD; Patient perceptions
To examine the association between early HIV viremia and mortality after HIV-associated lymphoma.
Multicenter observational cohort study.
Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort.
HIV-infected patients with lymphoma diagnosed between 1996 and 2011, who were alive 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis and with ≥2 HIV RNA values during the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis.
Cumulative HIV viremia during the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis, expressed as viremia copy-6-months.
Main outcome measure
All-cause mortality between 6 months and 5 years after lymphoma diagnosis.
Of 224 included patients, 183 (82%) had non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 41 (18%) had Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). At lymphoma diagnosis, 105 (47%) patients were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), median CD4 count was 148 cells/µlL (IQR 54– 322), and 33% had suppressed HIV RNA (<400 copies/mL). In adjusted analyses, mortality was associated with older age [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 1.37 per decade increase, 95% CI 1.03–1.83], lymphoma occurrence on ART (AHR 1.63, 95% CI 1.02– 2.63), lower CD4 count (AHR 0.75 per 100 cell/µL increase, 95% CI 0.64–0.89), and higher early cumulative viremia (AHR 1.35 per log10copies × 6-months/mL, 95% CI 1.11–1.65). The detrimental effect of early cumulative viremia was consistent across patient groups defined by ART status, CD4 count, and histology.
Exposure to each additional 1-unit log10 in HIV RNA throughout the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis, was associated with a 35% increase in subsequent mortality. These results suggest that early and effective ART during chemotherapy may improve survival.
AIDS; Burkitt lymphoma; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; HIV; Hodgkin lymphoma; lymphoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Anal cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected male patients. Currently, there is no consensus on post-treatment surveillance of HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) who have been treated for high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN), the likely precursor to anal cancer.
To assess the cost-effectiveness of a range of strategies for anal cancer surveillance in HIV-infected MSM previously treated for HGAIN.
We developed a Markov model to project quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE), lifetime costs, and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) of five strategies using high resolution anoscopy (HRA) and/or anal cytology testing after treatment.
Performing HRA alone at 6- and 12-month visits was associated with a cost-effectiveness ratio of $4,446 per QALY gained. In comparison, combined HRA and anal cytology at both visits provided the greater health benefit at a cost of $ 17,373 per QALY gained. Our results were robust over a number of scenarios and assumptions, including patients’ level of immunosuppression. Results were most sensitive to test characteristics and cost, and progression rates of normal to HGAIN and HGAIN to cancer.
Our results suggest that combined HRA and anal cytology at 6 and 12 months may be a cost-effective surveillance strategy following treatment of HGAIN in HIV-infected MSM.
HIV/AIDS; HPV; men who have sex with men; treatment; cost-effectiveness; anal cancer
Populations of African ancestry continue to account for a disproportionate burden of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic in the US. We investigated the effects of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I markers in association with virologic and immunologic control of HIV-1 infection among 338 HIV-1 subtype B-infected African Americans in two cohorts: REACH (Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health) and HERS (HIV Epidemiology Research Study). One-year treatment-free interval measurements of HIV-1 RNA viral loads and CD4+ T-cells were examined both separately and combined to represent three categories of HIV-1 disease control (76 “controllers,” 169 “intermediates,” and 93 “non-controllers”). Certain previously or newly implicated HLA class I alleles (A*32, A*36, A*74, B*14, B*1510, B*3501, B*45, B*53, B*57, Cw*04, Cw*08, Cw*12, and Cw*18) were associated with one or more of the endpoints in univariate analyses. After multivariable adjustments for other genetic and non-genetic risk factors of HIV-1 progression, the subset of alleles more strongly or consistently associated with HIV-1 disease control included A*32, A*74, B*14, B*45, B*53, B*57, and Cw*08. Carriage of infrequent HLA-B but not HLA-A alleles was associated with more favorable disease outcomes. Certain HLA class I associations with control of HIV-1 infection span the boundaries of race and viral subtype; while others appear confined within one or the other of those boundaries.
HLA class I; Allele frequency; HIV-1 control; African American
Intermittent dosing of pre-exposure prophylaxis (iPrEP) has potential to decrease costs, improve adherence, and minimize toxicity. Practical event-based dosing of iPrEP requires men who have sex with men (MSM) to be sexually active on fewer than 3 days each week and plan for sexual activity. MSM who may be most suitable for event-based dosing were older, more educated, more frequently used sexual networking websites, and more often reported that their last sexual encounter was not with a committed partner. A substantial proportion of these MSM endorse high-risk sexual activity, and event-based iPrEP may best target this population.
intermittent pre-exposure prophylaxis (iPrEP); pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); event-based dosing; men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM); HIV; sexual frequency; sexual planning
A study of HIV-infected persons in primary care in four U.S. found that 13% had a prevalent STD at enrollment and 7% an incident STD six months later.
To better understand the factors associated with HIV and STD transmitting behavior among HIV-infected persons, we estimated STD prevalence and incidence and associated risk factors among a diverse sample of HIV-infected patients in primary care.
We analyzed data from 557 participants in the SUN study, a prospective observational cohort of HIV-infected persons in primary care in four U.S. cities. At enrollment and six months thereafter, participants completed an audio computer-assisted self interview about their sexual behavior, and were screened for genitourinary, rectal and pharyngeal N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis infections by nucleic acid amplification testing, and for serologic evidence of syphilis. Women provided cervicovaginal samples and men provided urine to screen for T. vaginalis by polymerase chain reaction.
Thirteen percent of participants had a prevalent STD at enrollment and 7% an incident STD six months later. The most commonly diagnosed infections were rectal chlamydia, oropharyngeal gonorrhea, and chlamydial urethritis among the men, and trichomoniasis among the women. Other than trichomoniasis, 94% of incident STDs were identified in MSM. Polysubstance abuse other than marijuana, and having ≥ 4 sex partners in the six months prior to testing were associated with diagnosis of an incident STD.
STDs were commonly diagnosed among contemporary HIV-infected patients receiving routine outpatient care, particularly among sexually active MSM who used recreational drugs. These findings underscore the need for frequent STD screening, prevention counseling, and substance abuse treatment for HIV-infected persons in care.
HIV infection; sexual risk; sexually transmitted infections
The AIDS epidemic has been fueled by global inequities. Ranging from gender inequality and underdevelopment to homophobia impeding health care access for men who have sex with men (MSM), imbalanced resource allocations and social biases have potentiated the epidemic’s spread. However, recognition of culturally specific aspects of each microepidemic has yielded development of community-based organizations, which have resulted in locally effective responses to AIDS. This effective approach to HIV prevention, care and treatment is illustrated through examples of community-based responses in Haiti, the United States, Africa, and other impoverished settings.
Disparities; Inequity; Health Care Access; Homophobia; Gender Inequality
The Step Study found that men who had sex with men (MSM) who received an adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vector-based vaccine and were uncircumcised or had prior Ad5 immunity had a higher HIV incidence than MSM who received placebo. We investigated whether differences in HIV exposure, measured by reported sexual risk behaviors, may explain the increased risk.
Among 1,764 MSM in the trial, 724 were uncircumcised, 994 had prior Ad5 immunity and 560 were both uncircumcised and had prior Ad5 immunity. Analyses compared sexual risk behaviors and perceived treatment assignment among vaccine and placebo recipients, determined risk factors for HIV acquisition and examined the role of insertive anal intercourse in HIV risk among uncircumcised men.
Few sexual risk behaviors were significantly higher in vaccine vs. placebo recipients at baseline or during follow-up. Among uncircumcised men, vaccine recipients at baseline were more likely to report unprotected insertive anal intercourse with HIV negative partners (25.0% vs. 18.1%; p=0.03). Among uncircumcised men who had prior Ad5 immunity, vaccine recipients were more likely to report unprotected insertive anal intercourse with partners of unknown HIV status (46.0% vs. 37.5%; p=0.05). Vaccine recipients remained at higher risk of HIV infection compared to placebo recipients (HR =2.8; 95% CI:1.7, 6.8) controlling for potential confounders.
These analyses do not support a behavioral explanation for the increased HIV infection rates observed among uncircumcised men in the Step Study. Identifying biologic mechanisms to explain the increased risk is a priority.
This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00095576.
HIV vaccines; gay men; sexual behaviors
An emerging HIV epidemic can be seen among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam, with prevalence as high as 18%. Transactional sex represents a risk factor for HIV transmission/acquisition among MSM globally, particularly in urban contexts, but remains largely underinvestigated in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. In 2010, 23 MSM who reported exchanging sex for money in the last month completed a brief survey and semistructured qualitative interview at The Life Centre, a non-governmental organization in HCMC, to assess sociodemographics, individual- and structural-level HIV risk factors and explore acceptable future prevention interventions. Participants’ mean age was 24 years. Equal proportions of respondents self-identified as heterosexual/straight, homosexual/gay, and bisexual. Participants had a mean of 158 male clients in the past year, with a median of 60 male clients in the past year (interquartile range [IQR]=70) and reported inconsistent condom use and inaccurate perceptions of HIV risk. Nearly half of the sample reported engaging in unprotected anal sex with a male partner in the past 12 months and one-third with a male client. Major themes that emerged for HIV prevention interventions with male sex workers were those that: (1) focused on individual factors (drug and alcohol use, barriers to condom use, knowledge of asymptomatic STIs, enhancement of behavioral risk-reduction skills, and addressing concomitant mental health issues); (2) incorporated interpersonal and relational contexts (led by peer educators, built interpersonal skills, attended to partner type and intimacy dynamics); and (3) considered the exogenous environments in which individual choices/relationships operate (stigma of being MSM in Vietnam, availability of alternative economic opportunities, and varied sexual venues). HIV prevention efforts are needed that address the specific needs of MSM who engage in transactional sex in HCMC. Universally, MSM endorsed HIV prevention interventions, suggesting a need and desire for efforts in this context.
HIV; Vietnam; prevention; male sex workers; transactional sex
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States (US) are affected by HIV at disproportionate rates compared to MSM of other race/ethnicities. Current HIV incidence estimates in this group are needed to appropriately target prevention efforts.
From July 2009 to October 2010, Black MSM reporting unprotected anal intercourse with a man in the past six months were enrolled and followed for one year in six US cities for a feasibility study of a multi-component intervention to reduce HIV infection. HIV incidence based on HIV seroconversion was calculated as number of events/100 person-years. Multivariate proportional hazards modeling with time-dependent covariates was used to identify correlates of HIV acquisition.
Of 1,553 Black MSM enrolled, 1,164 were HIV-uninfected at baseline and included in follow-up. Overall annual HIV incidence was 3.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0, 4.4%) and 5.9% among men ≤30 years old (95% CI: 3.6, 9.1%). Men ≤30 years old reported significantly higher levels of sexual risk and were more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection diagnosed during follow-up. Younger men also were more likely to not have a usual place for health care, not have visited a health care provider recently, and to have unmet health care needs. In multivariate analysis, age ≤30 years (hazard ratio (HR): 3.4; 95% CI: 1.4, 8.3) and unprotected receptive anal intercourse with HIV-positive or unknown status partners (HR: 4.1; 95% CI: 1.9, 9.1) were significantly associated with HIV acquisition.
In the largest cohort of prospectively-followed Black MSM in the US, HIV incidence was high, particularly among young men. Targeted, tailored and culturally appropriate HIV prevention strategies incorporating behavioral, social and biomedical based interventions are urgently needed to lower these rates.
Drug concentrations associated with protection from HIV-1 acquisition have not been determined. This study evaluated drug concentrations among men who have sex with men in a substudy of the iPrEx trial,(1) a randomized placebo controlled trial of daily oral emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Any detectable drug in blood plasma and viably cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (vPBMCs) was less frequent in HIV-infected cases at the visit when HIV was first discovered compared with controls at the matched time point of the study (8% vs 44%, P<0.001) and in the 90 days prior to that visit (11% vs 51%, P<0.001). An intracellular tenofovir-diphosphate (TFV-DP) concentration of 16 fmol per million vPBMCs was associated with a 90% reduction in HIV acquisition relative to the placebo arm. Directly observed dosing in a separate study, STRAND, yielded TFV-DP concentrations that, when analyzed with this iPrEx model, corresponded with HIV-1 risk reduction of 76% for 2 doses per week, 96% for 4 doses per week, 99% for 7 doses per week. Prophylactic benefits were observed over a range of doses and drug concentrations, suggesting ways to optimize PrEP regimens for this population.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has become a major threat to the survival of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons in areas where antiretroviral therapy is available. In coinfection, viral eradication has been difficult to attain, and HCV therapy is underused. Novel therapies may be particularly beneficial for this population, yet studies lag behind those for HCV monoinfection. Increasingly, incident HCV among HIV-infected men who have sex with men is associated with sexual risk behavior further research should be performed to refine understanding of the causal mechanism of this association. The phenomenon of aggressive hepatic fibrogenesis when HIV infection precedes HCV acquisition requires longer-term observation to ensure optimal timing of HCV therapy. Medical management in coinfection will be improved by enhancing HCV detection, with annual serologic testing, screening with HCV RNA to detect acute infection, and HIV testing of HCV-infected individuals; by addressing HCV earlier in coinfected persons; and by universal consideration for HCV therapy. HCV drug trials in individuals coinfected with HIV should be expedited. HIV/HCV coinfection remains a growing and evolving epidemic; new developments in therapeutics and improved care models offer promise.
As each HIV-infected individual represents a breakdown of HIV primary prevention measures, formative data from representative individuals living with HIV can help shape future primary prevention interventions. Little is known about sexual behaviours and other transmission risk factors of high-risk group members who are already HIV-infected in Chennai, India.
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 27 HIV-infected individuals representing each high-risk group in Chennai (five men who have sex with men (MSM), five female commercial sex workers (CSW), four truckers and other men who travel for business, four injecting drug users (IDU), five married male clients of CSW, and four wives of CSW clients, MSM, truckers, and IDU).
Themes relevant to HIV primary prevention included: (1) HIV diagnosis as the entry into HIV education and risk reduction, (2) reluctance to undergo voluntary counselling and testing, (3) gender and sexual roles as determinants of condom use, (4) misconceptions about HIV transmission, and (5) framing and accessibility of HIV education messages.
These qualitative data can be used to develop hypotheses about sexual risk taking in HIV-infected individuals in South India, inform primary prevention intervention programs, and improve primary prevention efforts overall.
AIDS; education; MSM; sex workers; sexual behaviour
Potential items to be included in an HIV Treatment Optimism scale were reviewed by 17 HIV-positive gay and bisexual men (GBM), resulting in a 21-item test instrument. After pilot testing, data were collected from a multi-city sample of high-risk HIV-positive GBM (n = 346), who were currently on treatment and were recruited to attend a two-day sexual health seminar. The scale items were analyzed utilizing Principal Components Analysis and reliability testing. The factor analysis resulted in the development of three separate scales. The Susceptibility scale contained 10 items associated with a belief that HIV is less transmissible while on HIV treatment. The Condom Motivation scale contained five items addressing a decreased motivation to use condoms while on treatment and the Severity scale contained four items associated with a decreased sense of the severity of an HIV diagnosis. Reliability coefficients (α ) and mean inter-item correlations (M) for the three scales were acceptable (Susceptibility, α = 0.86, M = 0.39; Condom Motivation, α = 0.84, M = 0.50; Severity, α = 0.71, M = 0.37). Combined as one scale, the reliability coefficient was respectable (α = 0.76), but the mean inter-item correlation was 0.14. Based on this analysis, use of a single measure was not supported and three separate scales were developed. The scales were equivalent across racial groups except White men were more like to report a decreased motivation to use condoms compared to Black or Latino men. Three separate scales addressing beliefs about the transmissibility of HIV while on treatment (Susceptibility), the quality of life while on HIV treatment (Severity) and the motivation to use condoms consistently while on treatment (Condom Motivation) may be better markers for assessing optimistic beliefs about HIV treatment among HIV-positive GBM.
HIV optimism; gay men; HIV; scale development
The Center for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) 004 and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEx) studies demonstrated that topical or oral chemoprophylaxis could decrease HIV transmission. Yet to have an appreciable public health impact, physicians will need to be educated about these new HIV prevention modalities. Massachusetts physicians were recruited via e-mail to complete an online survey of their knowledge and use of HIV prevention interventions. Data were collected before (July–December, 2010) (n=178) and after (December, 2010–April, 2011) (n=115) the release of iPrEx data. Over the two time intervals, knowledge of oral PrEP significantly increased (79% to 92%, p<0.01), whereas knowledge about topical microbicides was already high (89% pre-iPrEx). Post-iPrEx, specialists were more knowledgeable about oral PrEP (p<0.01) and topical microbicides (p<0.001) than generalists. The majority of the respondents would prefer to prescribe topical microbicides (75%) than oral PrEP (25%; p<0.001), primarily because they perceived fewer side effects (95%). Respondents indicated that PrEP should be available if it were a highly effective, daily pill; however, ongoing concerns included: potential drug resistance (93%), decreased funds for other forms of HIV prevention (88%), medication side effects (83%), and limited data regarding PrEP's clinical efficacy (75%). Participants indicated that formal CDC guidelines would have the greatest impact on their willingness to prescribe PrEP (96%). Among Massachusetts physicians sampled, chemoprophylaxis knowledge was high, but current experience was limited. Although topical gel was preferred, responses suggest a willingness to adapt practices pending additional efficacy data and further guidance from normative bodies. Educational programs aimed at incorporating antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis into physicians' HIV prevention practices are warranted.
The present study sought to identify characteristics of HIV-infected MSM that are associated with the use of specific substances and substance abuse in general. Participants were 503 HIV-infected MSM who were receiving primary care. A self-assessment and medical records were used to obtain information about past 3-month alcohol and drug use and abuse, and demographics, HIV-disease stage and treatment, sexual risk, and mental health. Associations of these four domains with substance use and abuse outcomes were examined using hierarchical block-stepwise multivariable logistic regression. Substance use and abuse in the sample was high. Transmission risk behavior was significantly associated with over half of the outcomes. The associations of demographic and HIV-disease stage and treatment variables varied by substance, and mental health problems contributed differentially to almost every outcome. These findings should be considered for designing, implementing, and evaluating substance use programming for HIV-infected MSM.
HIV/AIDS; Men who have sex with men; Alcohol; Drugs; HIV clinic
Male-to-female transgender individuals who engage in sex work constitute a group at high risk for HIV infection in the United States. This mixed-methods formative study examined sexual risk among preoperative transgender male-to-female sex workers (N = 11) in Boston. More than one third of the participants were HIV-infected and reported a history of sexually transmitted diseases. Participants had a mean of 36 (SD = 72) transactional male sex partners in the past 12 months, and a majority reported at least one episode of unprotected anal sex. Qualitative themes included (a) sexual risk, (b) motivations for engaging in sex work, (c) consequences of sex work, (d) social networks (i.e., “trans mothers,” who played a pivotal role in initiation into sex work), and (e) potential intervention strategies. Results suggest that interventions with transgender male-to-female sex workers must be at multiple levels and address the psychosocial and environmental contexts in which sexual risk behavior occurs.
HIV; intervention development; sexually transmitted diseases; transgender; trans mothers
This study examined the relationship of post-traumatic and depressive symptom severity with measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and health care utilization in a sample of 503 HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) recruited in their primary HIV care setting. Participants completed computer assisted assessments of mood and anxiety, HRQOL, and HIV treatment. Peripheral blood CD4 (T helper) lymphocyte count, plasma HIV RNA concentration, and number of medical appointments were extracted from an electronic medical record. Controlling for demographics, disease stage, and antiretroviral medication, post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms accounted for significant variation in general health estimates, and in pain, role, and work-related impairment. Additionally, in multivariable models, post-traumatic stress and depression severity accounted for significant variation in health care utilization whereas symptoms and indices of HIV disease progression did not. These results extend the current research by providing evidence of the relationship between post-traumatic stress and depression symptom severity with measures of functional impairment and health care utilization in a relatively healthy, urban cohort of HIV-infected MSM.
HIV; Health related quality of life; Health care utilization; Depression; Post-traumatic stress
Background & objectives:
Systematic data on existing coverage and willingness for HIV prevention strategies among truckers are not readily available in India. The present study aimed to further the understanding on contact of truckers with existing HIV prevention services and to assess willingness for new HIV prevention strategies.
A total of 1,800 truck drivers and helpers aged 16-65 yr passing through Hyderabad were approached to assess contact made with HIV prevention programmes, history of previous HIV testing and their acceptance for circumcision, oral HIV testing, new medications to control HIV (PrEP) and telephonic counselling. Dried blood samples were collected on filter paper and tested for HIV. Multiple logistic regression was performed for analysis of association between contact with HIV prevention programme and socio-demographic, sexual risk behaviour variables and work characteristics.
A total of 1,602 (89%) truckers gave interview and provided blood sample. Forty five truckers tested positive for HIV resulting in HIV prevalence of 2.8 per cent (95% CI 2.0-3.6%). Only 126 truckers (7.9%; 95% CI 6.5-9.2%) reported ever being contacted by staff providing HIV prevention interventions. Previous HIV testing was reported by19 per cent (95% CI 17.3-21.2%). Those reporting contact with HIV prevention programmes ever were more likely to have undergone HIV testing (odds ratio 3.6, 95% CI 2.4-5.4). The acceptance for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was 87 per cent, oral HIV testing 98 per cent, and telephonic counselling 82 per cent, but was only 9 per cent for circumcision. Truckers who reported having sex with a man and those who halted regularly at dhabas were significantly more willing to undergo circumcision for HIV prevention (odds ratios 2.7, 95% CI 1.4-5.4 and 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.2, respectively).
Interpretation & conclusions:
Our findings showed that truckers had low contact with HIV prevention programmes, suggesting a need for urgent measures to reach this population more effectively. The willingness for new HIV interventions was high except for circumcision. These findings could be used for further planning of HIV prevention programmes for truckers in India.
Circumcision; HIV; HIV prevention programmes; oral HIV testing; truck drivers