Sunday, March 27, 2011

Changing HIV Risk Behaviors

Via The Forum for Collaborative HIV Research

Background: Previous studies have suggested that initial reductions in risk behavior after HIV diagnosis are not sustained. We investigated how seroadaptive tactics, including fewer total partners, serodiscordant partners, and “risk partnerships” (defined as insertive unprotected anal intercourse with an HIV– or partners unknown status), adopted by HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM) influence HIV transmission risk over time.

Methods: MSM with acute/recent (<6 months) HIV infection were enrolled from 1998 to 2010 into the OPTIONS cohort. During 2009 to 2010, at every 3-month interval, subjects completed computer-assisted self-interviews detailing risk behavior in the prior 3 months.

To assess the relationship between transmission risk and time, we categorized individuals as being in the pre-diagnosis, post-diagnosis (as long as 6 months post-diagnosis), or later follow-up period based on their first interview. We calculated the mean number of partnerships for each category. Trends over time were assessed in subsets of individuals with data at multiple time points using linear regression.

Results: In 504 interviews, 237 MSM contributed data: 52 (10.3%) interviews assessed behavior pre-diagnosis, 65 (12.9%) post-diagnosis, and 387 (76.8%) in follow-up. The mean number of sexual partners per 3 months was significantly higher pre-diagnosis (12.2) than post-diagnosis (3.8) and follow-up (7.5) periods.

The proportion of reported partners who were HIV– or of unknown status was 0.80 pre-diagnosis, 0.24 post-diagnosis, and 0.62 in follow-up. Mean “risk partnerships” per 3 months was 2.80 pre-diagnosis, but was significantly lower in both post-diagnosis (0.09) and follow-up (0.20) groups.

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