Wednesday, May 13, 2009

US gay men mostly getting HIV from main partners; minority of transmission from men with diagnosed HIV

via Aidsmap, by Michael Carter

Over 50% of HIV transmissions in US gay men are from main sexual partners, investigators report in a study published in the online edition of AIDS. The researchers also found that 46% of infections were from partners who were believed to be HIV-negative and that approximately a quarter of transmissions were the result of insertive anal sex. [Read the paper here.]

Gay men remain the group most affected by HIV in the US. There is some evidence that the number of new HIV infections in this group has increased since 2000. This has prompted calls for a renewed focus on the continuing HIV epidemic amongst gay men and the development of new prevention interventions.

Research from the Netherlands suggests that most HIV infections from young men are contracted from main sexual partners. To gain a better understanding of the dynamics of HIV transmission amongst gay men in the US, investigators designed a model using information obtained from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS), involving gay men in five large US cities between 2003 and 2005, and the HIVNET Vaccine Preparedness Study (VPS), which recruited gay men in six US cities between 1995 and 1997.

Data from the NHBS study were used to estimate the number of gay men with main and casual partners in a year, the number of casual partners, the HIV status of partners, and sexual behaviour with partners. Information from the VPS was used to estimate the number of sexual episodes per year for men with main and casual partners.

A total of 3652 men from the NHBS study were included in the investigators’ analysis. These men reported 2395 main partners and 2850 casual partners. Based upon information from the VPS, the investigators estimated that the combined total of sex acts with main partners was 195,000 per year and 175,000 per year for casual partners.

Read the rest.

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