ResearchPad - men-who-have-sex-with-men https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Confidential, accessible point-of-care sexual health services to support the participation of key populations in biobehavioural surveys: Lessons for Papua New Guinea and other settings where reach of key populations is limited]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14720 To achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets at a national level, many countries must accelerate service coverage among key populations. To do this, key population programs have adopted methods similar to those used in respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to expand reach. A deeper understanding of factors from RDS surveys that enhance health service engagement can improve key population programs. To understand the in-depth lives of key populations, acceptance of expanded point-of-care biological testing and determine drivers of participation in RDS surveys, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 111 key population participants (12–65 years) were purposefully selected from six biobehavioral surveys (BBS) in three cities in Papua New Guinea. Key populations were female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender women. Four reasons motivated individuals to participate in the BBS: peer referrals; private, confidential, and stigma-free study facilities; “one-stop shop” services that provided multiple tests and with same-day results, sexually transmitted infection treatment, and referrals; and the desire to know ones’ health status. Biobehavioral surveys, and programs offering key population services can incorporate the approach we used to facilitate key population engagement in the HIV cascade.

]]>
<![CDATA[HIV self-testing in Spain: A valuable testing option for men-who-have-sex-with-men who have never tested for HIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f4d5eed0c48452a5cf

Background

We assessed the capacity of HIV self-testing to promote testing among untested men who have sex with men (MSM) and determined the most benefited subpopulations.

Methods

An online questionnaire was disseminated on several gay websites in Spain from September 2012 to April 2013. We used Poisson regression to estimate factors associated with the intention to use self-testing if already available. Among those who reported intention of use, we assessed several aspects related to the testing and linkage to care process by type of barrier reported: low perceived risk (LR), structural barriers (SB) and fear of testing positive (FTP).

Results

Of 2589 never-tested MSM, 83% would have used self-testing if already available. Intention of use was associated with age ≥30 (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.01–1.10), having had protected (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.15, 1.02–1.30) or unprotected (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.21, 1.07–1.37) anal intercourse and reporting FTP (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.12, 1.05–1.20) or SB to access HIV testing (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.23, 1.19–1.28). Among those who reported intention of using a self-testi, 78.3% declared it their preferred option (83.8% in the SB group; p<0.001), and 56.8% would always use this testing option (60.9% among the SB group; p = 0.001). In the case of obtaining a positive self-test, 69.3% would seek confirmatory testing, 15.3% would self-test again before taking any decision and 13.0% reported not being sure of what they would do.

Conclusion

HIV self-testing in Spain has the potential of becoming a highly used testing methodology for untested MSM and could represent the gateway to testing especially among older, at risk MSM who report SB or FTP as main barriers to testing.

]]>
<![CDATA[Prevalence and correlates of lifetime and recent HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) who use mobile geo-social networking applications in Greater Tokyo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217c1d5eed0c4847944f2

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), accounting for 78% of all Japanese male HIV cases in 2016. Over 30% of newly identified HIV infections in Japan are diagnosed as AIDS annually, suggesting a large proportion of people living with HIV were unaware of their own infection status. An estimated two-thirds of Japanese men who have sex with men (MSM) are not attached to the gay community, and previous studies have largely sampled gay venues, thus, previous studies have likely failed to reach many men in this population. This study therefore examined HIV testing prevalence and correlates among MSM in Greater Tokyo who use gay mobile geo-social networking applications (gay mobile apps), which have been found to increase access to MSM not traditionally accessible through venue-based surveys. Among a sample of 1657 MSM recruited through advertisements on gay mobile apps, the prevalence of lifetime and six-monthly HIV testing was 72.8% and 29.7% respectively. In multiple regression analysis, higher lifetime HIV testing was associated with older age, education, HIV knowledge, anal intercourse with regular and casual male partners, and gay venue attendance. Testing was negatively associated with regular male partner condom use, marriage, residing outside central Tokyo and having both male and female partners. These results indicated that MSM who use gay mobile apps in Greater Tokyo do not meet the CDC yearly testing recommendations for high risk populations. Considering limited HIV prevention funding in Japan for MSM, moderate lifetime and recent testing, and the large number of gay mobile app users, utilization of popular gay mobile apps to promote nearby HIV testing facilities may be an effective prevention policy to target non-community attached MSM, particularly at-risk youth and individuals at risk of sudden-onset AIDS.

]]>
<![CDATA[Trends in HIV care cascade engagement among diagnosed people living with HIV in Ontario, Canada: A retrospective, population-based cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390ba4d5eed0c48491da7e

Background

The HIV cascade is an important framework for assessing systems of care, but population-based assessment is lacking for most jurisdictions worldwide. We measured cascade indicators over time in a population-based cohort of diagnosed people living with HIV (PLWH) in Ontario, Canada.

Methods

We created a retrospective cohort of diagnosed PLWH using a centralized laboratory database with HIV diagnostic and viral load (VL) test records linked at the individual-level. Individuals enter the cohort with record of a nominal HIV-positive diagnostic test or VL test, and remain unless administratively lost to follow-up (LTFU, >2 consecutive years with no VL test and no VL test in later years). We calculated the annual percent of diagnosed PLWH (cohort individuals not LTFU) between 2000 and 2015 who were in care (≥1 VL test), on ART (as documented on VL test requisition) or virally suppressed (<200 copies/ml). We also calculated time from diagnosis to linkage to care and viral suppression among individuals newly diagnosed with HIV. Analyses were stratified by sex and age. Upper/lower bounds were calculated using alternative indicator definitions.

Results

The number of diagnosed PLWH increased from 8,859 (8,859–11,389) in 2000 to 16,110 (16,110–17,423) in 2015. Over this 16-year period, the percent of diagnosed PLWH who were: in care increased from 81% (63–81%) to 87% (81–87%), on ART increased from 55% (34–60%) to 81% (70–82%) and virally suppressed increased from 41% (23–46%) to 80% (67–81%). Between 2000 and 2014, the percent of newly diagnosed individuals who linked to care within three months of diagnosis or achieved viral suppression within six months of diagnosis increased from 67% to 82% and from 22% to 42%, respectively. Estimates were generally lower for females and younger individuals.

Discussion

HIV cascade indicators among diagnosed PLWH in Ontario improved between 2000 and 2015, but gaps still remain—particularly for younger individuals.

]]>
<![CDATA[Knowledge, interest, and anticipated barriers of pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake and adherence among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men who are incarcerated]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ed1d5eed0c484d28626

Criminal justice (CJ) settings disproportionately include populations at high risk for acquiring HIV, and CJ-involved individuals are often at the intersection of multiple overlapping risk factors. However, few studies have examined attitudes about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among incarcerated men who have sex with men (MSM). This study explored interest in, knowledge of, and barriers to PrEP uptake among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Using semi-structured interviews, 26 MSM were interviewed about PrEP knowledge, interest, timing preferences for provision (e.g. before or after release), and barriers to uptake and adherence during community re-entry. Interviews were coded and analyzed using a general inductive approach. Participants demonstrated low initial knowledge of PrEP but high interest after being told more about it. Participants self-identified risk factors for HIV acquisition, including condomless sex and substance use. In addition, participants preferred provision of PrEP prior to release. Post-release barriers to PrEP uptake and adherence included 1) concerns about costs of PrEP medications; 2) anticipated partner or family disapproval; 3) lack of access to transportation; 4) unstable housing; 5) compounding impacts of multiple hardships leading to a de-prioritization of PrEP and 6) fears of future re-incarceration. These results point to the need for future PrEP interventions among incarcerated populations that address incarceration and PrEP related barriers during community re-entry via wraparound services that address PrEP and incarceration-related barriers.

]]>
<![CDATA[Incidence of sexually transmitted infections in men who have sex with men and who are at substantial risk of HIV infection – A meta-analysis of data from trials and observational studies of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed782d5eed0c484f142c2

Background

Men who have sex with men (MSM) and who engage in condomless anal intercourse with casual partners are at high risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but reliable epidemiological data are scarce. Studies on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) enrol MSM who indicate that they engage in behaviour that puts them at high risk of acquiring HIV. Because they also screen for STIs at regular intervals, these studies may serve as a valuable source to estimate incidence rates of STIs in this subpopulation of MSM.

Methods

We systematically searched for trials and observational studies of PrEP in MSM that reported data on the incidence of STIs during the study period. Incidence rates were calculated as events per 100 person-years (py) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Data from individual studies were pooled building subgroups along study types and geography. We performed sensitivity analyses, including data only from studies that met pre-defined quality criteria.

Results

Twenty-four publications on 20 studies were included. The majority of studies reported that sexual behaviour and/or STI incidence remained stable or decreased during the study period. For syphilis, incidence rates ranged from 1.8/100py to 14.9/100py, the pooled estimate was 9.1/100py (95%-CI: 7.7–10.9). Incidence rates for gonorrhoea and chlamydia of any site ranged from 13.3/100py to 43.0/100py and 15.1/100py to 48.5/100py, respectively. Considering only studies that met the criteria for sensitivity analysis yielded pooled estimates of 39.6/100py (95%-CI: 32.9–47.6) and 41.8/100py (95%-CI: 33.9–51.5), respectively. The overall estimate for hepatitis C incidence was 1.3/100py (95%-CI: 1.0–1.8).

Conclusions

Despite partly heterogeneous results, the data depict high incidence rates of STIs among MSM who engage in higher-risk sexual behaviours such as condomless sex with casual partners. This subpopulation of MSM requires access to STI screening at close intervals. By offering access to structures that provide regular STI monitoring and prompt treatment, PrEP may not only decrease HIV incidence but also have beneficial effects in decreasing the burden of STIs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Trends and emerging directions in HIV risk and prevention research in the Philippines: A systematic review of the literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b7dd5eed0c484699690

Background

The Philippines is experiencing one of the fastest growing epidemics globally. Evidence-based public health policies are needed. To describe the public health literature on HIV risk groups and prevention approaches in the Philippines, we reviewed published empirical studies with HIV-related outcomes.

Methods

Based on an a priori systematic review protocol, we searched PubMed, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases for quantitative studies conducted in the Philippines that reported on HIV risk groups factors and interventions to prevent HIV. The search included studies published as of April 2018.

Results

We identified 755 records, screened 699 unique titles and abstracts, and conducted full text review of 122 full reports of which 51 articles met inclusion criteria. The majority were cross-sectional studies describing HIV and STI prevalence and risk factors in samples recruited from the Philippines. Four HIV prevention programs conducted in the Philippines were identified, all of which reported improvements on HIV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Overall, female sex workers (FSWs) constituted the primary study population, and few studies reported data from men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWIDs), and youth. No studies reported on transgender populations. Most studies were focused on examining condom use-related outcomes and STI history, few had biomarkers for HIV, and none addressed biomedical HIV prevention strategies.

Conclusion

This review identifies an agenda for future HIV research that is needed to address the growing and shifting nature of the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

]]>
<![CDATA[Substance Use and Adherence to HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis for Men Who Have Sex with Men1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1686c3d5eed0c4844449a2

Substance and alcohol use were not associated with decreased adherence.

]]>
<![CDATA[Community-based strategies to strengthen men’s engagement in the HIV care cascade in sub-Saharan Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf3c2

Monica Sharma and colleagues discuss evidence-based approaches to improving HIV services for men in sub-Saharan Africa.

]]>
<![CDATA[Generational analysis of trends in unprotected sex in France among men who have sex with men: The major role of context-driven evolving patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8ad

Objective

Using a generational approach, this study analyses how unprotected anal intercourse has evolved since 1991 in France across different generations of men who have sex with men (MSM) whose sexual lives began at different periods in the history of the HIV epidemic.

Design

Data were collected from 18–59 year-old respondents to the French Gay Press surveys Enquêtes Presse Gay, conducted repeatedly between 1991 and 2011 (N = 32,196) using self-administered questionnaires distributed in gay magazines and over the internet.

Methods

Trends in unprotected anal intercourse (i.e. condomless anal sex) with casual partners of unknown or different HIV serostatus (hereafter “UAId” in this manuscript) were studied. Responses were analysed according to year and then reorganised for age-cohort analyses by generation, based on the year respondents turned 18.

Results

UAId rates fell from 1991 to 1997, and then rose from 13.4% in 1997 to 25.5% in 2011 among seronegative respondents, and from 24.8% to 63.3%, respectively, among seropositive respondents. Both in seropositive and seronegative respondents, UAId increased over time for all generations, indicative of a strong period effect.

Conclusion

Analyses of data from several generations of MSM who started their sexual lives at different time points in the HIV epidemic, revealed very similar trends in UAId between generations, among both seropositive and seronegative respondents. This strong period effect suggests that sexual behaviours in MSM are influenced more by contextual than generational factors. The fact that prevention practices are simultaneously observed in different generations and that there are most likely underlying prevention norms among MSM, suggests that PrEP could become widely accepted by all generations of MSM exposed to the risk of HIV.

]]>
<![CDATA[Stretching the Boundaries: Tanzanian Pharmacy Workers’ Views and Experiences of Providing STI Services for Men Who Have Sex with Men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae4ab0ee8fa60bbcbe3

Objective

To explore the views and experiences of providing assistance and treatment of sexually transmitted infections to same-sex practicing male clients among service providers at pharmacies and drugstores in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Previous research suggests that sexually transmitted infections are an increasing concern for this population. Due to stigma and discrimination, men who have sex with men face limited access to treatment, which might contribute to increased self-medication. However, limited research has been conducted on the role of the pharmaceutical service provider with regards to this population in sub-Saharan Africa.

Method

In January 2016, 16 service providers at private pharmacies and drugstores with previous experience of providing services to this population were purposively selected for open-ended face-to-face interviews. The analysis was guided by the grounded theory approach.

Results

The process that emerged was labelled “Stretching Boundaries for Pharmaceutical Responsibilities”. This reflected informants’ perceptions of themselves as being involved in a transition from having limited engagement in the care of same-sex practicing male clients to becoming regular service-providers to this group. Findings further revealed that the emotional commitment they developed for clients through this process led to a transgression of provider-client boundaries, which undermined objective decision-making when clients lacked prescription. Financial interests also emerged as an underlying motivation for providing incomplete or inaccurate drug dosages.

Conclusions

Further studies are required to better address incentives related to unregulated sale of drugs. Inter-professional networks between pharmacy and healthcare workers could support the development of targeted treatment for men who have sex with men and other key populations.

]]>
<![CDATA[Prescription of Non-Occupational Post-Exposure HIV Prophylaxis by Emergency Physicians: An Analysis on Accuracy of Prescription and Compliance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb52a

We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from a prospective nPEP (non-Occupational Post Exposure Prophylaxis) registry based on patients consulting at one academic Emergency department located in Brussels, Belgium. We review here 1,357 cases consulting from January 2011 to December 2013.The objective of the study is to determine whether emergency physicians prescribe nPEP according to national guideline with support from IDS (infectious disease specialists). As this intervention has a high cost we wanted to verify correct allocation of treatment to high risk patients. Moreover we wanted to determine whether compliance to nPEP when prescribed by an Emergency Physician was different from literature reports. Finally we wanted to describe the population consulting for nPEP at our center. Emergency physicians prescribed nPEP more frequently in high risk exposures (98.6%) compared to intermediate risk exposures (53.2%); adequately allocating resources from a public health perspective. Appropriateness of prescription when evaluated according to nPEP Belgian guidelines was 98.8%.Compliance with nPEP prescribed by Emergency physicians was 60% in our study. Compliance was the highest in MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) while sexual assault victims showed the lowest compliance. Altogether this study suggests that Emergency physicians can safely and adequately prescribe nPEP when supported by a comprehensive guideline. Recognizing intrinsic differences within heterogeneous populations consulting for nPEP may improve compliance to this high-cost public health intervention.

]]>
<![CDATA[Anticipated Notification of Sexual Partners following STD Diagnosis among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Lima, Peru: A Mixed Methods Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3dab0ee8fa60b88b0d

Background

New strategies to support partner notification (PN) are critical for STD control and require detailed understanding of how specific individual and partnership characteristics guide notification decisions.

Methods

From 2011 to 2012, 397 MSM and TW recently diagnosed with HIV, syphilis, or another STD completed a survey on anticipated notification of recent sexual partners and associated factors. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a subset of participants to provide further depth to quantitative findings. Prevalence ratios and generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used to analyze participant- and partner-level factors associated with anticipated PN.

Results

Among all partners reported, 52.5% were described as “Very Likely” or “Somewhat Likely” to be notified. Anticipated notification was more likely for main partners than casual (adjusted Prevalence Ratio [aPR], 95% CI: 0.63, 0.54–0.75) or commercial (aPR, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.31–0.62) partners. Other factors associated with likely notification included perception of the partner as an STD source (aPR, 95% CI: 1.27, 1.10–1.48) and anticipated future sexual contact with the partner (aPR, 95% CI: 1.30, 1.11–1.52). An HIV diagnosis was associated with a lower likelihood of notification than non-HIV STDs (aPR: 0.68, 0.55–0.86). Qualitative discussion of the barriers and incentives to PN reflected a similar differentiation of anticipated notification according to partnership type and type of HIV/STD diagnosis.

Discussion

Detailed attention to how partnership characteristics guide notification outcomes is essential to the development of new PN strategies. By accurately and thoroughly assessing the diversity of partnership interactions among individuals with HIV/STD, new notification techniques can be tailored to partner-specific circumstances.

]]>
<![CDATA[Early HAART Initiation May Not Reduce Actual Reproduction Number and Prevalence of MSM Infection: Perspectives from Coupled within- and between-Host Modelling Studies of Chinese MSM Populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac1ab0ee8fa60bb0cef

Having a thorough understanding of the infectivity of HIV, time of initiating treatment and emergence of drug resistant virus variants is crucial in mitigating HIV infection. There are many challenges to evaluating the long-term effect of the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) on disease transmission at the population level. We proposed an individual based model by coupling within-host dynamics and between-host dynamics and conduct stochastic simulation in the group of men who have sex with men (MSM). The mean actual reproduction number is estimated to be 3.6320 (95% confidence interval: [3.46, 3.80]) for MSM group without treatment. Stochastic simulations show that given relatively high (low) level of drug efficacy after emergence of drug resistant variants, early initiation of treatment leads to a less (greater) actual reproduction number, lower (higher) prevalence and less (more) incidences, compared to late initiation of treatment. This implies early initiation of HAART may not always lower the actual reproduction number and prevalence of infection, depending on the level of treatment efficacy after emergence of drug resistant virus variants, frequency of high-risk behaviors and etc. This finding strongly suggests early initiation of HAART should be implemented with great care especially in the settings where the effective drugs are limited. Coupling within-host dynamics with between-host dynamics can provide critical information about impact of HAART on disease transmission and thus help to assist treatment strategy design and HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

]]>
<![CDATA[Knowledge, Attitudes, and Acceptability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among Individuals Living with HIV in an Urban HIV Clinic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf4ab0ee8fa60bc2623

Introduction

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective tool to reduce HIV transmission. The primary objective of this study was to assess awareness of PrEP by individuals living with HIV (HIV+) and acceptance of its use for their HIV negative (HIV-) partners.

Methods

A cross sectional survey was conducted among individuals living with HIV who received care at an urban HIV clinic between January 2013 and June 2013. The survey examined knowledge, attitudes, and acceptability of PrEP, and perception of transmission risk of HIV. Chi-Square test and Fisher's Exact test were used to compare proportions.

Results

Among 206 subjects living with HIV, 15.3% (32) had heard of PrEP. Men who have sex with men (MSM) were more likely to be aware of PrEP than all others (p = 0.003). Once educated about PrEP those who believed PrEP would reduce their partner’s risk for HIV were more likely to recommend PrEP to their partner (p<0.001). 92% of all respondents said they would be “extremely likely/likely” to discuss PrEP use with their provider. Of 159 subjects whose main partner was HIV-, MSM (p = 0.007), male participants (p = 0.044), and those who were consistently taking meds (p = 0.049) were more likely to be aware of PrEP. Those who perceived they were at risk of transmitting HIV (p<0.001) and those who were consistently taking meds (0.049) were more likely to agree that PrEP could reduce the risk of HIV to their partners.

Conclusion

This study illustrates a low awareness of PrEP but once educated the willingness of a cohort of individuals living with HIV to recommend PrEP to their partners. Our findings demonstrate the importance of providers informing their patients living with HIV about PrEP, as these persons are an underutilized link to support the uptake of PrEP by their HIV- partners.

]]>
<![CDATA[Risk Factors Associated with Incident Syphilis in a Cohort of High-Risk Men in Peru]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7dbbb

Background

Syphilis is concentrated among high-risk groups, but the epidemiology of syphilis reinfection is poorly understood. We characterized factors associated with syphilis incidence, including reinfection, in a high-risk cohort in Peru.

Methods

Participants in the NIMH CPOL trial were assessed at baseline and 2 annual visits with HIV/STI testing and behavioral surveys. Participants diagnosed with syphilis also attended 4- and 9-month visits. All participants underwent syphilis testing with RPR screening and TPPA confirmation. Antibiotic treatment was provided according to CDC guidelines. Reinfection was defined as a 4-fold titer increase or recurrence of seroreactivity after successful treatment with subsequent negative RPR titers. The longitudinal analysis used a Possion generalized estimating equations model with backward selection of variables in the final model (criteria P <0.02).

Results

Of 2,709 participants, 191 (7.05%) were RPR-reactive (median 1:8, range 1:1–1:1024) with TPPA confirmation. There were 119 total cases of incident syphilis, which included both reinfection and first-time incident cases. In the bivariate analysis, the oldest 2 quartiles of age (incidence ratio (IR) 3.84; P <0.001 and IR 8.15; P <0.001) and being MSM/TW (IR 6.48; P <0.001) were associated with higher risk of incident syphilis infection. Of the sexual risk behaviors, older age of sexual debut (IR 12.53; P <0.001), not being in a stable partnership (IR 1.56, P = 0.035), higher number of sex partners (IR 3.01; P <0.001), unprotected sex in the past 3 months (IR 0.56; P = 0.003), HIV infection at baseline (IR 3.98; P <0.001) and incident HIV infection during the study period (IR 6.26; P = 0.003) were all associated with incident syphilis. In the multivariable analysis, older age group (adjusted incidence ratio (aIR) 6.18; P <0.001), men reporting having sex with a man (aIR 4.63; P <0.001), and incident HIV infection (aIR 4.48; P = 0.008) were significantly associated.

Conclusions

We report a high rate of syphilis reinfection among high-risk men who have evidence of previous syphilis infection. Our findings highlight the close relationship between HIV incidence with both incident syphilis and syphilis reinfection. Further studies on syphilis reinfection are needed to understand patterns of syphilis reinfection and new strategies beyond periodic testing of high-risk individuals based on HIV status are needed.

]]>
<![CDATA[Characterization of a novel HIV-1 unique recombinant form between CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B in men who have sex with men in Guangzhou, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc6c2

Here, we report the genetic diversity of HIV-1 and emergence of novel HIV-1 unique recombinant forms (URF) in both HIV-infected intravenous drug users (IDU) and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Guangzhou, China. We further characterized a novel URF strain isolated from an HIV-infected MSM, GD698. Near full-length genome (NFLG) phylogenic analysis showed that this novel URF was composed of CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B, with two recombinant breakpoints (nt 6,003 and 8,251 relative to the HXB2 genome) in the vpu/env and env genes, respectively. Twenty six percent of the genome is classified as CRF55_01B, spanning part of vpu and most of the env gene. The remaining 74% of the genome is classified as CRF07_BC. Both the backbone CRF07_BC sequence and CRF55_01B fragment were clustered with the HIV-1 isolates found in MSM. The emergence of the novel HIV-1 recombinant indicates the ongoing recombinants derived from the CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B isolates, and provides critical insights into our understanding of the dynamics and complexity of the HIV-1 epidemic in China.

]]>
<![CDATA[Social, structural, behavioral and clinical factors influencing retention in Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) care in Mississippi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdba25

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a biomedical intervention that can reduce rates of HIV transmission when taken once daily by HIV-negative individuals. Little is understood about PrEP uptake and retention in care among the populations most heavily impacted by the HIV epidemic, particularly among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the Deep South. Therefore, this study explored the structural, social, behavioral, and clinical factors that affect PrEP use and retention in care among YMSM in Jackson, Mississippi. Thirty MSM who were prescribed PrEP at an outpatient primary care clinic were interviewed and included 23 men who had been retained in PrEP care and seven who had not been retained. The mean age of participants was 26.6 years. Most (23) participants were African American. Major factors affecting PrEP use and retention in PrEP care included 1) structural factors such as cost and access to financial assistance for medications and clinical services; 2) social factors such as stigma and relationship status; 3) behavioral factors including sexual risk behaviors; and 4) clinical factors such as perceived and actual side effects. Many participants also discussed the positive spillover effects of PrEP use and reported that PrEP had a positive impact on their health. Four of the seven individuals who had not been retained re-enrolled in PrEP care after completing their interviews, suggesting that case management and ongoing outreach can enhance retention in PrEP care. Interventions to enhance retention in PrEP care among MSM in the Deep South will be most effective if they address the complex structural, social, clinical, and behavioral factors that influence PrEP uptake and retention in PrEP care.

]]>
<![CDATA[“How I Wish This Thing Was Initiated 100 Years Ago!” Willingness to Take Daily Oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf4ab0ee8fa60bc2740

Background

The MSM population in Kenya contributes to 15% of HIV incidence. This calls for innovative HIV prevention interventions. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been efficacious in preventing HIV among MSM in trials. There is limited data on the willingness to take daily oral PrEP in sub-Sahara Africa. PrEP has not been approved for routine use in most countries globally. This study aimed to document the willingness to take PrEP and barriers to uptake and adherence to PrEP in Kenya. The findings will inform the design of a PrEP delivery program as part of the routine HIV combination prevention.

Methods

Eighty MSM were recruited in 2 Counties in December 2013. Quantitative data on sexual behaviour and willingness to take PrEP were collected using semi-structured interviews and analysed using SPSS. Qualitative data on knowledge of PrEP, motivators and barriers to uptake and adherence to PrEP were collected using in-depth interviews and FGDs and analysed using Nvivo. Analysis of data in willingness to take PrEP was conducted on the HIV negative participants (n = 55).

Results

83% of MSM were willing to take daily oral HIV PrEP. Willingness to take PrEP was higher among the bi-sexual and younger men. Motivators for taking PrEP were the need to stay HIV negative and to protect their partners. History of poor medication adherence, fear of side effects and HIV stigma were identified as potential barriers to adherence. Participants were willing to buy PrEP at a subsidized price.

Conclusions

There is willingness to take PrEP among MSM in Kenya and there is need to invest in targeted education and messaging on PrEP to enhance adherence, proper use and reduce stigma in the general population and among policy makers.

]]>
<![CDATA[Will Gay Sex–Seeking Mobile Phone Applications Facilitate Group Sex? A Cross-Sectional Online Survey among Men Who Have Sex with Men in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadbab0ee8fa60bb9b6f

Introduction

China is amidst a sexual revolution, with changing sexual practices and behaviors. Sex–seeking mobile phone applications (gay apps) that allow multiple people to meet up quickly may facilitate group sex. This study was therefore undertaken to evaluate group sex among Chinese MSM and to better understand factors associated with group sex.

Methods

An online survey was conducted from September-October 2014, collecting data on socio-demographics, sexual behaviors, use of gay apps and occurrence of group sex among Chinese MSM. Univariate and multivariable logistic regressions were used to compare group sex and non-group sex participants.

Results

Of the 1,424 MSM, the majority were under 30 years old (77.5%), unmarried (83.9%), and were gay apps users (57.9%). Overall, 141 (9.9%) participants engaged in group sex in the last 12 months. Multivariate analyses showed that men living with HIV, engaged in condomless anal intercourse with men, and used gay apps were more likely to engage in group sex, with adjusted ORs of 3.74 (95% CI 1.92–7.28), 2.88 (95% CI 2.00–4.16) and 1.46 (95% CI: 1.00–2.13), respectively. Among gay app users, the likelihood of group sex increases with the number of sex partners and the number of sex acts with partners met through a gay app.

Conclusions

Chinese MSM who engage in group sex are also more likely to engage in other risky sexual behaviors, and gay app use may facilitate group sex. Further research is needed among MSM who engage in group sex in order to target interventions and surveillance.

]]>