Addressing high-risk behavior in HIV-positive MSM

By July 26, 2012AIDS 2012, HIV/AIDS
Conall O'Cleirigh in front of his poster at IAS 2012

Dr. Conall O’Cleirigh

Dr. Conall O’Cleirigh and his team had an abstract accepted to the International AIDS Conference titled “HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men Who Report Very High Rates of Sexual Transmission Risk Behavior (TRB): Developing a Context for Novel HIV Prevention Interventions” (O’Cleirigh C, Taylor S, Newcomb M, Caparrelli D, Mayer K, Safren S).  Dr. O’Cleirigh is shown here with his poster, which is on display during this afternoon’s poster session.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) represent the largest group living with HIV In the US, accounting for more than 60% of all new HIV infections annually.  Prior work has found that more than 3/4 of the HIV sexual transmission risk behaviors in a large cohort of HIV-infected MSM were reported by the riskiest 10% of the sample.  Characterizing this subgroup of HIV positive MSM may help tailor interventions to reduce sexual risk and help avert new HIV infections.

The research team found that compared to those with moderate risk, MSM who who engage in high rates of risky sexual behavior may:

  •  be more recently engaged in HIV care and utilize more non-HIV health care;
  • rate their own HIV transmission risk more highly while assuming the importance their partners place on safer sex is lower;
  • be more likely to meet the screen-in criteria for a personality disorder;
  • not differ with respect to mood, anxiety disorders or substance use;
  • have more casual and unknown HIV status sexual partners.

They also concluded that interventions that address sexual risk behavior among HIV-infected MSM who are at highest risk of transmission may benefit from integrative strategies that address pragmatic considerations of personal sexual health.

The Scientific Programme Committee received 11,715 abstract submission for the conference and only selected about one-third of the highest-quality abstracts reflecting a diversity of topics, regions and key affected populations. You can view an overview of Fenway’s accepted abstracts here (PDF) and read about two of the abstracts displayed during poster sessions earlier in the week here.

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