Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Risky Sex Studied in HIV Positive

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Risky Sex Studied in HIV Positive

Article excerpt

MEXICO CITY -- About one-third of HIV-positive adults have recently engaged in sexual behavior that could put others at risk for infection, but the factors associated with such behavior differ for women, heterosexual men, and men who have sex with men, according to a new study.

"In our study, we have set out to deliver a small contribution to understanding sexual risk behavior among men and women living with HIV as we believe this is an important contribution to support them, both in preventing onward HIV transmission as well as in improving their sexual and reproductive health," lead author Christiana Nostlinger, Ph.D., said at the International AIDS Conference.

The cross-sectional study was conducted within Eurosupport V, a research network with 16 HIV treatment sites in 13 European countries explained Dr. Nostlinger, head of health promotion at the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.

The investigators developed an anonymous questionnaire on factors potentially affecting sexual risk and protective behavior and administered it to consecutive individuals visiting the network's treatment sites in 2007. They also analyzed the results of focus group discussions conducted among HIV-positive individuals.

The response rate was 39%, yielding a sample of 1,212 respondents. Some 24% were women, 18% were heterosexual men, and 58% were men who had sex with men. Their median ages ranged from 38 to 43 years.

About 30% of women, 25% of heterosexual men, and 37% of men who had sex with men reported at least one instance of sexual risk behavior (unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse) in the previous 6 months, a difference that was significant, Dr. Nostlinger reported.

In bivariate analyses, women were significantly more likely to have engaged in sexual risk behavior if they were younger, used marijuana, wanted a child, or had a main partner who was also HIV positive. …

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