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1.  Potential Impact and Acceptability of Internet Partner Notification for Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women Recently Diagnosed with STD in Lima, Peru 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2014;41(1):43-45.
We assessed the potential impact of internet partner notification (PN) among MSM and transgender women in Peru recently diagnosed with STD. Use of internet PN was anticipated for 55.9% of recent partners, including 43.0% of partners not currently expected to be notified, a 20.6% increase in anticipated notification outcomes.
doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000068
PMCID: PMC3932828  PMID: 24326581
Men Who Have Sex With Men; Transgender Women; Partner Notification; Sexually Transmitted Disease; Peru
2.  Being Unaware of Being HIV-Infected is Associated with Alcohol Use Disorders and High Risk Sexual Behaviors Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Peru 
AIDS and behavior  2014;18(1):10.1007/s10461-013-0504-2.
This study compared the correlates of HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) with newly diagnosed versus previously known HIV infection among 5,148 MSM recruited using modified snowball sampling in 5 Peruvian cities. Participants, if age≥18 years and sex with a male in the previous 12 months, underwent standardized computer-assisted risk assessments and HIV and syphilis testing. Overall, 420 (8.2%) participants tested HIV seropositive, most of whom (89.8%) were unaware of their HIV status. Compared to those who knew themselves to be HIV-infected, multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that unprotected anal intercourse at last encounter [AOR=2.84 (95% CI 1.09–7.40)] and having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) [AOR=2.14 (95% CI 1.01–5.54)] were independently associated with a newly diagnosed HIV infection. Being unaware of being HIV-infected was associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and AUDs, both of which are amenable to behavioral and medication-assisted therapy interventions.
doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0504-2
PMCID: PMC3796203  PMID: 23670711
HIV infection; alcohol use disorders; extended-release naltrexone; medication-assisted therapies; sexual risk; Peru; male homosexuality
3.  Short Report: Lack of Evidence of Hepatitis C and HIV Co-Infection among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Peru 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection occurs among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) because of shared routes of transmission. To assess the association between HCV and HIV infection among MSM in Peru, we conducted a matched case-control study (162 HIV-positive cases and 324 HIV-negative controls) among participants of an HIV sentinel surveillance survey in six urban cities. The HCV infection was initially screened using anti-HCV ELISA and immunoblot assay, and thereafter confirmed by the HCV RNA qualitative assay. Among cases, no confirmed HCV infection was found while among controls, only two confirmed HCV infections were reported (0.62%). This matched case-control reports a very low probability of association between HCV and HIV co-infection and suggests a very low prevalence of HCV infection among MSM in Peru.
PMCID: PMC3500390  PMID: 19556587
4.  Pre-Antiretroviral Therapy Serum Selenium Concentrations Predict WHO Stages 3, 4 or Death but not Virologic Failure Post-Antiretroviral Therapy 
Nutrients  2014;6(11):5061-5078.
A case-cohort study, within a multi-country trial of antiretroviral therapy (ART) efficacy (Prospective Evaluation of Antiretrovirals in Resource Limited Settings (PEARLS)), was conducted to determine if pre-ART serum selenium deficiency is independently associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression after ART initiation. Cases were HIV-1 infected adults with either clinical failure (incident World Health Organization (WHO) stage 3, 4 or death by 96 weeks) or virologic failure by 24 months. Risk factors for serum selenium deficiency (<85 μg/L) pre-ART and its association with outcomes were examined. Median serum selenium concentration was 82.04 μg/L (Interquartile range (IQR): 57.28–99.89) and serum selenium deficiency was 53%, varying widely by country from 0% to 100%. In multivariable models, risk factors for serum selenium deficiency were country, previous tuberculosis, anemia, and elevated C-reactive protein. Serum selenium deficiency was not associated with either clinical failure or virologic failure in multivariable models. However, relative to people in the third quartile (74.86–95.10 μg/L) of serum selenium, we observed increased hazards (adjusted hazards ratio (HR): 3.50; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.30–9.42) of clinical failure but not virologic failure for people in the highest quartile. If future studies confirm this relationship of high serum selenium with increased clinical failure, a cautious approach to selenium supplementation might be needed, especially in HIV-infected populations with sufficient or unknown levels of selenium.
doi:10.3390/nu6115061
PMCID: PMC4245580  PMID: 25401501
HIV; selenium; antiretroviral therapy; nutrition; treatment failure; cohort studies
5.  The Inner Foreskin of Healthy Males at Risk of HIV Infection Harbors Epithelial CD4+ CCR5+ Cells and Has Features of an Inflamed Epidermal Barrier 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108954.
Male circumcision provides partial protection against multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. To examine potential vulnerabilities in foreskin epithelial structure, we used Wilcoxon paired tests adjusted using the false discovery rate method to compare inner and outer foreskin samples from 20 healthy, sexually active Peruvian males who have sex with males or transgender females, ages 21–29, at elevated risk of HIV infection. No evidence of epithelial microtrauma was identified, as assessed by keratinocyte activation, fibronectin deposition, or parakeratosis. However, multiple suprabasal tight junction differences were identified: 1) inner foreskin stratum corneum was thinner than outer (p = 0.035); 2) claudin 1 had extended membrane-bound localization throughout inner epidermis stratum spinosum (p = 0.035); 3) membrane-bound claudin 4 was absent from inner foreskin stratum granulosum (p = 0.035); and 4) occludin had increased membrane deposition in inner foreskin stratum granulosum (p = 0.042) versus outer. Together, this suggests subclinical inflammation and paracellular transport modifications to the inner foreskin. A setting of inflammation was further supported by inner foreskin epithelial explant cultures secreting higher levels of GM-CSF (p = 0.029), IP-10 (p = 0.035) and RANTES (p = 0.022) than outer foreskin, and also containing an increased density of CCR5+ and CD4+ CCR5+ cells (p = 0.022). Inner foreskin dermis also secreted more RANTES than outer (p = 0.036), and had increased density of CCR5+ cells (p = 0.022). In conclusion, subclinical changes to the inner foreskin of sexually active males may support an inflammatory state, with availability of target cells for HIV infection and modifications to epidermal barriers, potentially explaining the benefits of circumcision for STI prevention.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108954
PMCID: PMC4182607  PMID: 25268493
6.  Hepatitis B Infection and Association with Other Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Peru 
To assess the epidemiology of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Peru, we evaluated the prevalence and associated risk factors for HBV serologic markers among participants of a HIV sentinel surveillance conducted in 2002–2003. The standardized prevalences for total antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were 20.2% and 2.8%, respectively. Individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection had significantly higher anti-HBc (44.3% versus 19.3%) and HBsAg (9.5% versus 2.3%) prevalences than uninfected men. Increasing age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.06), versatile sexual role (AOR = 1.59), sex in exchange for money/gifts (AOR = 1.58), syphilis (AOR = 1.74), HIV-1 infection (AOR = 1.64), and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2, AOR = 2.77) infection were independently associated with anti-HBc positivity, whereas only HIV-1 infection (AOR = 3.51) and generalized lymph node enlargement (AOR = 3.72) were associated with HBsAg positivity. Pre-existing HBV infection is very common among Peruvian MSM and was correlated with sexual risk factors. MSM in Peru constitute a target population for further HBV preventive and treatment interventions.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0003
PMCID: PMC2912599  PMID: 20595501
7.  Psychosocial Predictors of Non-Adherence and Treatment Failure in a Large Scale Multi-National Trial of Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV: Data from the ACTG A5175/PEARLS Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104178.
Background
PEARLS, a large scale trial of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV (n = 1,571, 9 countries, 4 continents), found that a once-daily protease inhibitor (PI) based regimen (ATV+DDI+FTC), but not a once-daily non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor/nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI/NRTI) regimen (EFV+FTC/TDF), had inferior efficacy compared to a standard of care twice-daily NNRTI/NRTI regimen (EFV+3TC/ZDV). The present study examined non-adherence in PEARLS.
Methods
Outcomes: non-adherence assessed by pill count and by self-report, and time to treatment failure. Longitudinal predictors: regimen, quality of life (general health perceptions  =  QOL-health, mental health  =  QOL-mental health), social support, substance use, binge drinking, and sexual behaviors. “Life-Steps” adherence counseling was provided.
Results
In both pill-count and self-report multivariable models, both once-a-day regimens had lower levels of non-adherence than the twice-a-day standard of care regimen; although these associations attenuated with time in the self-report model. In both multivariable models, hard-drug use was associated with non-adherence, living in Africa and better QOL-health were associated with less non-adherence. According to pill-count, unprotected sex was associated with non-adherence. According to self-report, soft-drug use was associated with non-adherence and living in Asia was associated with less non-adherence. Both pill-count (HR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.15, 2.09, p<.01) and self-report (HR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.13, p<.01) non-adherence were significant predictors of treatment failure over 72 weeks. In multivariable models (including pill-count or self-report nonadherence), worse QOL-health, age group (younger), and region were also significant predictors of treatment failure.
Conclusion
In the context of a large, multi-national, multi-continent, clinical trial there were variations in adherence over time, with more simplified regimens generally being associated with better adherence. Additionally, variables such as QOL-health, regimen, drug-use, and region play a role. Self-report and pill-count adherence, as well as additional psychosocial variables, such QOL-health, age, and region, were, in turn, associated with treatment failure.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104178
PMCID: PMC4143224  PMID: 25153084
8.  Can Male Circumcision Have an Impact on the HIV Epidemic in Men Who Have Sex with Men? 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102960.
Background
Three trials have demonstrated the prophylactic effect of male circumcision (MC) for HIV acquisition among heterosexuals, and MC interventions are underway throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Similar efforts for men who have sex with men (MSM) are stymied by the potential for circumcised MSM to acquire HIV easily through receptive sex and transmit easily through insertive sex. Existing work suggests that MC for MSM should reach its maximum potential in settings where sexual role segregation is historically high and relatively stable across the lifecourse; HIV incidence among MSM is high; reported willingness for prophylactic circumcision is high; and pre-existing circumcision rates are low. We aim to identify the likely public health impact that MC interventions among MSM would have in one setting that fulfills these conditions—Peru—as a theoretical upper bound for their effectiveness among MSM generally.
Methods and Findings
We use a dynamic, stochastic sexual network model based in exponential-family random graph modeling and parameterized from multiple behavioral surveys of Peruvian MSM. We consider three enrollment criteria (insertive during 100%, >80% or >60% of UAI) and two levels of uptake (25% and 50% of eligible men); we explore sexual role proportions from two studies and different frequencies of switching among role categories. Each scenario is simulated 10 times. We estimate that efficiency could reach one case averted per 6 circumcisions. However, the population-level impact of an optimistic MSM-MC intervention in this setting would likely be at most ∼5–10% incidence and prevalence reductions over 25 years.
Conclusions
Roll-out of MC for MSM in Peru would not result in a substantial reduction in new HIV infections, despite characteristics in this population that could maximize such effects. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results for other MSM populations, and providers may consider the individual health benefits of offering MC to their MSM patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102960
PMCID: PMC4116164  PMID: 25076493
9.  The Risk of Stable Partnerships: Associations between Partnership Characteristics and Unprotected Anal Intercourse among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women Recently Diagnosed with HIV and/or STI in Lima, Peru 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102894.
Background
Partnership type is an important factor associated with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) and subsequent risk for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI). We examined the association of partnership type with UAI among men who have sex with men (MSM) and male-to-female transgender women (TGW) in Lima, Peru, recently diagnosed with HIV and/or STI.
Methods
We report data from a cross-sectional analysis of MSM and TGW recently diagnosed with HIV and/or STI in Lima, Peru between 2011 and 2012. We surveyed participants regarding UAI with up to their three most recent sexual partners according to partner type. Multivariable Generalized Estimate Equating (GEE) models with Poisson distribution were used to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) for UAI according to partner type.
Results
Among 339 MSM and TGW recently diagnosed with HIV and/or STI (mean age: 30.6 years, SD 9.0), 65.5% self-identified as homosexual/gay, 16.0% as bisexual, 15.2% as male-to-female transgender, and 3.3% as heterosexual. Participants provided information on 893 recent male or TGW partners with whom they had engaged in insertive or receptive anal intercourse: 28.9% stable partners, 56.4% non-stable/non-transactional partners (i.e. casual or anonymous), and 14.7% transactional partners (i.e. transactional sex client or sex worker). Unprotected anal intercourse was reported with 41.3% of all partners. In multivariable analysis, factors associated with UAI included partnership type (non-stable/non-transactional partner APR 0.73, [95% CI 0.59–0.91], transactional partner APR 0.53 [0.36–0.78], p<0.05) and the number of previous sexual encounters with the partner (>10 encounters APR 1.43 [1.06–1.92], p<0.05).
Conclusion
UAI was more commonly reported for stable partners and in partnerships with >10 sexual encounters, suggesting UAI is more prevalent in partnerships with a greater degree of interpersonal commitment. Further research assessing partner-level factors and behavior is critical for improving HIV and/or STI prevention efforts among Peruvian MSM and TGW.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102894
PMCID: PMC4100899  PMID: 25029514
10.  Changes in HIV-1 Subtypes B and C Genital Tract RNA in Women and Men After Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy 
Fiscus, Susan A. | Cu-Uvin, Susan | Eshete, Abel Tilahun | Hughes, Michael D. | Bao, Yajing | Hosseinipour, Mina | Grinsztejn, Beatriz | Badal-Faesen, Sharlaa | Dragavon, Joan | Coombs, Robert W. | Braun, Ken | Moran, Laura | Hakim, James | Flanigan, Timothy | Kumarasamy, N. | Campbell, Thomas B. | Klingman, Karin L. | Nair, Apsara | Walawander, Ann | Smeaton, Laura M. | De Gruttola, Victor | Martinez, Ana I. | Swann, Edith | Barnett, Ronald L. | Brizz, Barbara | Delph, Yvette | Gettinger, Nikki | Mitsuyasu, Ronald T. | Eshleman, Susan | Safren, Steven | Andrade, Adriana | Haas, David W. | Amod, Farida | Berthaud, Vladimir | Bollinger, Robert C. | Bryson, Yvonne | Celentano, David | Chilongozi, David | Cohen, Myron | Collier, Ann C. | Currier, Judith Silverstein | Eron, Joseph | Firnhaber, Cynthia | Flexner, Charles | Gallant, Joel E. | Gulick, Roy M. | Hammer, Scott M. | Hoffman, Irving | Kazembe, Peter | Kumwenda, Johnstone | Kumwenda, Newton | Lama, Javier R. | Lawrence, Jody | Maponga, Chiedza | Martinson, Francis | Mayer, Kenneth | Nielsen, Karin | Pendame, Richard B. | Ramratnam, Bharat | Rooney, James F. | Sanchez, Jorge | Sanne, Ian | Schooley, Robert T. | Snowden, Wendy | Solomon, Suniti | Tabet, Steve | Taha, Taha | Uy, Jonathan | van der Horst, Charles | Wanke, Christine | Gormley, Joan | Marcus, Cheryl J. | Putnam, Beverly | Ntshele, Smanga | Loeliger, Edde | Pappa, Keith A. | Webb, Nancy | Shugarts, David L. | Winters, Mark A. | Descallar, Renard S. | Sharma, Jabin | Poongulali, S. | Cardoso, Sandra Wagner | Faria, Deise Lucia | Berendes, Sima | Burke, Kelly | Kanyama, Cecelia | Kayoyo, Virginia | Samaneka, Wadzanai P. | Chisada, Anthony | Santos, Breno | La Rosa, Alberto | Infante, Rosa | Balfour, Henry H. | Mullan, Beth | Kim, Ge-Youl | Klebert, Michael K. | Mildvan, Donna | Revuelta, Manuel | Jan Geiseler, P. | Santos, Bartolo | Daar, Eric S. | Lopez, Ruben | Frarey, Laurie | Currin, David | Haas, David H. | Bailey, Vicki L. | Tebas, Pablo | Zifchak, Larisa | Sha, Beverly E. | Fritsche, Janice M.
Women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–1 subtype C had significantly higher genital tract viral loads compared to women with HIV-1 subtype B and men with HIV-1 subtype C or B. Women in general were significantly less likely to have genital tract viral load below the lower limit of quantification compared to men.
Background. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) reduces genital tract human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) load and reduces the risk of sexual transmission, but little is known about the efficacy of cART for decreasing genital tract viral load (GTVL) and differences in sex or HIV-1 subtype.
Methods. HIV-1 RNA from blood plasma, seminal plasma, or cervical wicks was quantified at baseline and at weeks 48 and 96 after entry in a randomized clinical trial of 3 cART regimens.
Results. One hundred fifty-eight men and 170 women from 7 countries were studied (men: 55% subtype B and 45% subtype C; women: 24% subtype B and 76% subtype C). Despite similar baseline CD4+ cell counts and blood plasma viral loads, women with subtype C had the highest GTVL (median, 5.1 log10 copies/mL) compared to women with subtype B and men with subtype C or B (4.0, 4.0, and 3.8 log10 copies/mL, respectively; P < .001). The proportion of participants with a GTVL below the lower limit of quantification (LLQ) at week 48 (90%) and week 96 (90%) was increased compared to baseline (16%; P < .001 at both times). Women were significantly less likely to have GTVL below the LLQ compared to men (84% vs 94% at week 48, P = .006; 84% vs 97% at week 96, P = .002), despite a more sensitive assay for seminal plasma than for cervical wicks. No difference in GTVL response across the 3 cART regimens was detected.
Conclusions. The female genital tract may serve as a reservoir of persistent HIV-1 replication during cART and affect the use of cART to prevent sexual and perinatal transmission of HIV-1.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit195
PMCID: PMC3689341  PMID: 23532477
HIV-1 genital tract RNA; HIV-1 subtypes B and C; antiretroviral drugs
11.  RISK FACTORS FOR HTLV-II INFECTION IN PERUVIAN MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN 
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-II (HTLV-II) infection is endemic in indigenous groups in the Americas and injection drug users (IDUs) worldwide. In Peru, HTLV-II infection was previously identified in two indigenous Amazonians. We examined risk factors for HTLV-II infection in 2,703 Peruvian men who have sex with men (MSM): 35 (1.3%) were HTLV-II positive. HTLV-II infection was associated with syphilis, HSV-2 infection, unprotected receptive anal intercourse, and older age. This is the first report of HTLV-II in a non-indigenous non-IDU population in Peru. Additional studies are needed to determine if HTLV-II is a sexually transmitted infection in this and other sexually active populations.
PMCID: PMC2695970  PMID: 16687704
12.  Change in Vitamin D Levels Occurs Early after Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation and Depends on Treatment Regimen in Resource-Limited Settings 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95164.
Study Background
Vitamin D has wide-ranging effects on the immune system, and studies suggest that low serum vitamin D levels are associated with worse clinical outcomes in HIV. Recent studies have identified an interaction between antiretrovirals used to treat HIV and reduced serum vitamin D levels, but these studies have been done in North American and European populations.
Methods
Using a prospective cohort study design nested in a multinational clinical trial, we examined the effect of three combination antiretroviral (cART) regimens on serum vitamin D levels in 270 cART-naïve, HIV-infected adults in nine diverse countries, (Brazil, Haiti, Peru, Thailand, India, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the United States). We evaluated the change between baseline serum vitamin D levels and vitamin D levels 24 and 48 weeks after cART initiation.
Results
Serum vitamin D levels decreased significantly from baseline to 24 weeks among those randomized to efavirenz/lamivudine/zidovudine (mean change: −7.94 [95% Confidence Interval (CI) −10.42, −5.54] ng/ml) and efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir-DF (mean change: −6.66 [95% CI −9.40, −3.92] ng/ml) when compared to those randomized to atazanavir/emtricitabine/didanosine-EC (mean change: −2.29 [95% CI –4.83, 0.25] ng/ml). Vitamin D levels did not change significantly between week 24 and 48. Other factors that significantly affected serum vitamin D change included country (p<0.001), season (p<0.001) and baseline vitamin D level (p<0.001).
Conclusion
Efavirenz-containing cART regimens adversely affected vitamin D levels in patients from economically, geographically and racially diverse resource-limited settings. This effect was most pronounced early after cART initiation. Research is needed to define the role of Vitamin D supplementation in HIV care.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095164
PMCID: PMC3994063  PMID: 24752177
13.  Daily Oral Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Preexposure Prophylaxis and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 among Men Who Have Sex with Men 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91513.
Background
In addition to protecting against HIV acquisition, antiretroviral preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using topical 1% tenofovir gel reduced Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) acquisition by 51% among women in the CAPRISA 004 study. We examined the effect of daily oral emtricitabine/tenofovir (FTC/TDF) PrEP on HSV-2 seroincidence and ulcer occurrence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the iPrEx trial.
Methods
HSV-2 serum testing was performed at screening and every six months. Among HSV-2-seronegative individuals, we used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of HSV-2 seroincidence associated with randomization to FTC/TDF. We used multiple imputation and Cox regression to estimate HRs for HSV-2 seroincidence accounting for drug exposure. We assessed ulcer occurrence among participants with prevalent or incident HSV-2 infection.
Results
Of the 2,499 participants, 1383 (55.3%) tested HSV-2-seronegative at baseline, 892 (35.7%) tested positive, 223 (8.9%) had indeterminate tests, and one test was not done. Of the 1,347 HSV-2-seronegative participants with follow-up, 125 (9.3%) had incident HSV-2 infection (5.9 per 100 person-years). Compared with participants receiving placebo, there was no difference in HSV-2 seroincidence among participants receiving FTC/TDF (HR 1.1, 95% CI: 0.8–1.5; P = 0.64) or among participants receiving FTC/TDF with a concentration of tenofovir diphosphate >16 per million viable cells (HR 1.0, 95% CI: 0.3–3.5; P = 0.95). Among participants with HSV-2 infection, the proportion with ≥1 moderate or severe ulcer adverse event was twice as high in the placebo vs. active arm (5.9% vs. 2.9%, P = 0.02), but there were no differences in the proportions with ≥1 clinical examination during which perianal or groin ulcers were identified.
Conclusions
Tenofovir in daily oral FTC/TDF PrEP may reduce the occurrence of ulcers in individuals with HSV-2 infection but does not protect against HSV-2 incidence among MSM.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091513
PMCID: PMC3956614  PMID: 24637511
14.  A systematic review of alcohol use and sexual risk-taking in Latin America 
Objective
To provide an account of published literature on the association between alcohol use and sexual risk-taking, focusing on Latin America.
Methods
A search of MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, LILACS, and Cochrane databases identified 561 unique articles. After excluding those that were not directly relevant, 30 studies were retained for review.
Results
Twenty-seven studies showed direct or indirect associations between alcohol abuse and unprotected/risky sex. Three studies, however, showed no association between these variables, suggesting that the public health message of safer sex may have been effective.
Conclusions
Further research is needed to identify factors and behaviors that could be modified to reduce the association between alcohol use disorders and risky sexual behavior.
PMCID: PMC3895327  PMID: 24301738
Alcoholic intoxication; alcohol-related disorders; alcoholism; sexual behavior; unsafe sex; HIV; sexually transmitted diseases; Latin America; South America
15.  Screening for Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders and Their Association with HIV-Related Sexual Risk Behaviors among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Peru 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e69966.
Background
Peru's HIV epidemic is concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM). The contribution of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) to known high-risk behaviors associated with HIV transmission in this context has not been well characterized.
Methods
Between June and October 2011, 5,148 sexually active MSM were recruited using convenience sampling in five cities to participate in a cross-sectional bio-behavioral survey. Five high-risk sexual criteria previously associated with incident HIV infection in this setting were selected a priori as the dependent outcomes. Screening for AUDs used the validated Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and AUDS were stratified by severity. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) were computed to establish the independent correlates of the five dependent outcomes.
Results
The majority (62.8%) of participants met screening criteria for having an AUD, which were independently correlated with each of the following high-risk sexual risk behaviors in the previous 6 months: 1) >5 sexual partners [AOR = 1.76; (1.54–2.02)]; 2) sex with an HIV-infected partner [AOR = 1.29; (1.03–1.62)]; 3) having a sexually transmitted infection [AOR = 1.38; (1.13–1.68)]; 4) being a sex worker [AOR = 1.61; (1.40–1.87)]; and 5) unprotected sex during last encounter [AOR = 1.22; (1.09–1.38)]. Recent drug use was also correlated with having >5 sexual partners [AOR = 1.42 (1.19–1.71)], sex work [AOR = 1.97 (1.63–2.39)] and unprotected sex during last encounter [AOR = 1.31 (1.11–1.54)]. For each dependent variable, the association with AUDs significantly increased with increasing AUD severity.
Conclusions
AUDs are highly prevalent among MSM in Peru and are associated with increased HIV risk-taking behaviors that are associated with HIV transmission. Strategies that target problematic drinking such as medication-assisted therapy, behavioral counseling and structural interventions could potentially reduce risky behaviors and ultimately reduce HIV transmission among MSM in Peru.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069966
PMCID: PMC3735581  PMID: 23936364
16.  Emtricitabine-tenofovir exposure and pre-exposure prophylaxis efficacy in men who have sex with men 
Science translational medicine  2012;4(151):151ra125.
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.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3004006
PMCID: PMC3721979  PMID: 22972843
17.  Correction: What Drives the US and Peruvian HIV Epidemics in Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)? 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):10.1371/annotation/9a6a0c8e-2d01-4f36-9ab8-f9fdfce6497b.
doi:10.1371/annotation/9a6a0c8e-2d01-4f36-9ab8-f9fdfce6497b
PMCID: PMC3714381
18.  A cross-sectional study of knowledge of sex partner serostatus among high-risk Peruvian men who have sex with men and transgender women: implications for HIV prevention 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:181.
Background
Knowledge of a sex partner’s HIV serostatus can influence sexual behavior and inform harm-reduction strategies. We sought to determine how often Peruvian men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) knew the HIV serostatus of their sex partners, if this knowledge was associated with any predictive factors or unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), and if UAI was associated with partner serostatus.
Methods
We analyzed data from the 2008 Peruvian MSM Sentinel Surveillance Survey. Data were collected by CASI about each participant’s three most recent male sex partners. Primary outcome was knowledge of a partner's HIV test result. Multivariate analysis assessed the effect of age, education, sexual identity, number of male partners, alcohol use during intercourse, type of partnership and length of partnership using logistic regression.
Results
735 participants provided data on 1,643 of their most recent sex partners from the last 3 months. 179/735 (24.4%) of all participants knew HIV test results for at least one of their 3 most recent partners, corresponding to 230/1643 (14.0%) of all sexual partnerships in the last 3 months. In multivariate analysis, casual (OR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.17-0.42) and exchange sex (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.11-0.88) partners, compared to stable partners, were negatively associated with knowledge of partner serostatus, whereas relationships lasting longer than one night (<3 months OR: 2.20, 95% CI: 1.39-3.51; 3 months to 1 year OR: 3.00, 95% CI: 1.80-5.01; ≥ 1 year OR: 4.13, 95% CI: 2.40-7.10) were positively associated with knowledge of partner serostatus. Knowledge of partner serostatus was not associated with unprotected anal intercourse with that partner.
Conclusions
Few MSM and TW in Peru know their partners’ HIV serostatus. Our findings suggest that the type and length of partnership influence the likelihood of knowing a partner’s serostatus. Further research should explore the contexts and practices of partner communication, their effect on sexual behavior, and interventions to promote discussion of HIV testing and serostatus as an HIV prevention strategy in this population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-181
PMCID: PMC3599550  PMID: 23448153
19.  What Drives the US and Peruvian HIV Epidemics in Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)? 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50522.
In this work, we estimate the proportions of transmissions occurring in main vs. casual partnerships, and by the sexual role, infection stage, and testing and treatment history of the infected partner, for men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US and Peru. We use dynamic, stochastic models based in exponential random graph models (ERGMs), obtaining inputs from multiple large-scale MSM surveys. Parallel main partnership and casual sexual networks are simulated. Each man is characterized by age, race, circumcision status, sexual role behavior, and propensity for unprotected anal intercourse (UAI); his history is modeled from entry into the adult population, with potential transitions including HIV infection, detection, treatment, AIDS diagnosis, and death. We implemented two model variants differing in assumptions about acute infectiousness, and assessed sensitivity to other key inputs. Our two models suggested that only 4–5% (Model 1) or 22–29% (Model 2) of HIV transmission results from contacts with acute-stage partners; the plurality (80–81% and 49%, respectively) stem from chronic-stage partners and the remainder (14–16% and 27–35%, respectively) from AIDS-stage partners. Similar proportions of infections stem from partners whose infection is undiagnosed (24–31%), diagnosed but untreated (36–46%), and currently being treated (30–36%). Roughly one-third of infections (32–39%) occur within main partnerships. Results by country were qualitatively similar, despite key behavioral differences; one exception was that transmission from the receptive to insertive partner appears more important in Peru (34%) than the US (21%). The broad balance in transmission contexts suggests that education about risk, careful assessment, pre-exposure prophylaxis, more frequent testing, earlier treatment, and risk-reduction, disclosure, and adherence counseling may all contribute substantially to reducing the HIV incidence among MSM in the US and Peru.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050522
PMCID: PMC3510067  PMID: 23209768
20.  Genital Tract Infections, Bacterial Vaginosis, HIV, and Reproductive Health Issues among Lima-Based Clandestine Female Sex Workers 
Sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics of 212 Peruvian female sex workers (FSWs) were analyzed. The association between genital tract infections (GTIs) and risk factors by multivariate analysis was evaluated. Eighty-eight percent of FSWs were diagnosed with at least one GTI (HSV-2 80.1%, BV 44.8%, candidiasis 9.9%, syphilis seropositivity 9.4%, Trichomonas vaginalis 2.4%, HIV seropositivity 2.4%). Reported condom use with clients was nearly universal (98.3%), but infrequent with husband/regular partners (7.3%). In multivariate analysis BV was negatively associated with more consistent condom use (PRR = 0.63, 95% CI, 0.42–0.96). Many had not visited a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) clinic or been tested for HIV in the past year (40.6%, 47.1%, resp.). Nonclient contraceptive use was low (57%) and induced abortion was common (68%). High GTI burden and abortions suggest that a services-access gap persists among marginalized FSWs. Continued health outreach programs and integrating family planning and reproductive health services into existing STI clinic services are recommended.
doi:10.1155/2012/739624
PMCID: PMC3395213  PMID: 22811592
21.  Prevalence and Correlates of Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection among Peruvian Men who have Sex with Men 
Background
Infection with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is common among men who have sex with men (MSM) in North America and Europe, and is also found to be endemic in some regions of South America. Little is known about HHV-8 prevalence and its correlates among MSM in the Andean region.
Methods
We assessed HHV-8 seroprevalence among 497 MSM recruited for the 2002 Peruvian HIV sentinel surveillance program using a combined HHV-8 enzyme immunoassay and immunofluorescence assay algoritm. Logistic regression was used to estimate Odds Ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) to determine the association between selected covariates and HHV-8 seropositivity.
Results
483 (97%) of 497 men had stored sera and demographic data available for analysis. 131 (66.5%, 95% CI 63.1%-69.9%) of 197 HIV-infected and 80 (26.7%, 95% CI 24.4%-29.0%) of 300 HIV-uninfected MSM had serologic evidence of HHV-8 infection. Factors independently associated with HHV-8 infection were education <12 years (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.7), anal receptive sex with the last partner (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.3), self-reported STI symptoms during the last year (OR: 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-3.0), and co-infection with HIV (OR 4.2, 95% CI 2.8-6.4) and Chronic Hepatitis B (OR 4.9, 95% CI 1.5-15.8). MSM with long-standing HIV infection were more likely to have serologic evidence of HHV-8 infection when compared to men with recently-acquired HIV (OR: 3.8, 95% CI 1.7-9.1).
Conclusions
HHV-8 infection is common among both HIV-infected and negative MSM in Lima, Peru. HHV-8 seropositivity is correlated with anal receptive sex, self-reported STI symptoms, and HIV infection among these MSM, and thus appears to be sexually transmitted. HHV-8 infection appears to be acquired after HIV infection, suggesting that future studies should evaluate the mode of HHV-8 transmission and prevention strategies among HIV-infected MSM.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31818d5bf8
PMCID: PMC3138205  PMID: 18989224
Human Herpesvirus 8; Homosexual Men; Human Immunodeficiency Virus; Peru; Sexually Transmitted Infections
22.  Preexposure Chemoprophylaxis for HIV Prevention in Men Who Have Sex with Men 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(27):2587-2599.
BACKGROUND
Antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis before exposure is a promising approach for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition.
METHODS
We randomly assigned 2499 HIV-seronegative men or transgender women who have sex with men to receive a combination of two oral antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC–TDF), or placebo once daily. All subjects received HIV testing, risk-reduction counseling, condoms, and management of sexually transmitted infections.
RESULTS
The study subjects were followed for 3324 person-years (median, 1.2 years; maximum, 2.8 years). Of these subjects, 10 were found to have been infected with HIV at enrollment, and 100 became infected during follow-up (36 in the FTC–TDF group and 64 in the placebo group), indicating a 44% reduction in the incidence of HIV (95% confidence interval, 15 to 63; P = 0.005). In the FTC–TDF group, the study drug was detected in 22 of 43 of seronegative subjects (51%) and in 3 of 34 HIV-infected subjects (9%) (P<0.001). Nausea was reported more frequently during the first 4 weeks in the FTC–TDF group than in the placebo group (P<0.001). The two groups had similar rates of serious adverse events (P = 0.57).
CONCLUSIONS
Oral FTC–TDF provided protection against the acquisition of HIV infection among the subjects. Detectable blood levels strongly correlated with the prophylactic effect. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00458393.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1011205
PMCID: PMC3079639  PMID: 21091279
23.  Retroviral Infections in Peruvian Men Who Have Sex With Men 
We tested 2,655 Peruvian MSM for retroviral infection: HTLV-1 was detected in 48 (1.8%), HTLV-2 in 28 (1.1%), and HTLV-1 and -2 in 5 (0.2%); HIV infection was detected in 329 (12.4 %); 24 (7.3%) were coinfected with HTLV. Risk factors for HTLV-1 and -2 varied with sexual role.
doi:10.1086/599609
PMCID: PMC2770590  PMID: 19480577
HLTV-I; HTLV-2; HIV; Peru; men who have sex with men (MSM)
24.  High HIV and Ulcerative Sexually Transmitted Infection Incidence Estimates among Men who Have Sex with Men in Peru: Awaiting for an Effective Preventive Intervention 
Background
In the Andean Region, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) are most prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM), but incidence estimates and associated factors have never been prospectively assessed.
Methods
A cohort of 1056 high-risk HIV-negative MSM in Lima, Peru, was recruited during 1998–2000 (The ALASKA Cohort) and a nested case-control analysis conducted between seroconverters and non-seroconverters, matched 1:3 by age and duration of follow-up for comparison of risk behaviors, acute retroviral symptoms, circumcision, and STI.
Results
During average follow-up of 335 days, 34 men seroconverted, providing a HIV incidence estimate of 3.5/100 person-years (95% CI: 2.3–4.7). High syphilis (9.2/100 person-years, 95% CI: 6.7–10.1) and HSV-2 infection (10.4/100 person-years, 95% CI: 8.6–11.9) incidence estimates were obtained. HIV seroconverters were more likely than men who remained seronegative to report fever ≥3 days (46% vs. 7%), to seek medical care (62% vs. 27%), and to have ≥1 casual partner (86.2% vs. 74.1%) since their last visit. HIV seroconverters also were more likely to have acquired syphilis or HSV-2 infection (31% vs. 8% among initially HSV-2 seronegative men) while were less likely to be circumcised (4.2% vs. 20.6%, a non-significant difference). In multivariate analysis, incident syphilis or HSV-2 infection (OR: 5.9, 95% CI 1.5–22.7) and sex with any casual partner (OR: 4.8, 95% CI: 0.9–26.2) were associated with HIV seroconversion.
Conclusions
STI that may cause anogenital ulcers are important risk factors for HIV acquisition among high-risk MSM in Lima, a population with a very high HIV incidence estimate. Synergistic interventions focusing in preventing both HIV and HSV-2, like male circumcision, are warranted to be assessed, especially in MSM populations with low levels of circumcision and high incidence estimates of ulcerative STI.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181a2671d
PMCID: PMC2725017  PMID: 19384102
homosexual men; Peru; HSV-2 infection; syphilis; HIV infection; incidence
25.  Efficacy assessment of a cell-mediated immunity HIV-1 vaccine (the Step Study): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, test-of-concept trial 
Lancet  2008;372(9653):1881-1893.
Background
Observational data and non-human primate challenge studies suggest that cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses may provide control of HIV replication. The Step Study is the first direct assessment of the efficacy of a CMI vaccine to protect against HIV infection or alter early plasma HIV levels in humans.
Method
HIV-seronegative participants (3000) were randomized (1:1) to receive 3 injections of MRKAd5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef vaccine or placebo. Randomization was pre-stratified by gender, baseline adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) titer, and study site. Participants were tested ~every 6 months for HIV acquisition; early plasma HIV RNA was measured ~3 months post-HIV diagnosis.
Findings
The vaccine elicited IFN-γ ELISPOT responses in 75% of vaccinees. In a pre-specified interim analysis among participants with baseline Ad5 ≤200, 24 of 741 vaccinees became HIV infected, versus 21 of 762 placebo recipients. All but one infection occurred in men. The early geometric mean plasma HIV RNA was comparable in infected vaccine and placebo recipients. In exploratory multivariate analyses, HIV incidence was higher in vaccinees versus placebo recipients among Ad5 seropositive men (5.1% versus 2.2% per year, respectively) and uncircumcised men (5.2% versus 1.4% per year, respectively). HIV incidence was similar in vaccinees versus placebo recipients among Ad5 seronegative men and circumcised men.
Interpretation
This CMI vaccine did not prevent HIV infection or lower early viral level. Mechanisms for failure of the vaccine to protect and for the increased HIV infection rates in subgroups of vaccinees are being explored. Additional follow-up will determine if elevated HIV incidence in vaccinee subgroups persists.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61591-3
PMCID: PMC2721012  PMID: 19012954
HIV vaccine; efficacy; adenovirus; HIV acquisition; viral load; male circumcision; test of concept

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