A Systematic Review to Identify Challenges of Demonstrating Efficacy of HIV Behavioral Interventions for Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM).

Published: February 10, 2013


Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV but few MSM-specific evidence-based interventions (EBIs) have been identified for this vulnerable group. We conducted a systematic review to identify reasons for the small number of EBIs for MSM. We also compared study, intervention and sample characteristics of EBIs versus non-EBIs to better understand the challenges of demonstrating efficacy evidence. Thirty-three MSM-specific studies were evaluated: Nine (27 %) were considered EBIs while 24 (73 %) were non-EBIs. Non-EBIs had multiple methodological limitations; the most common was not finding a significant positive effect. Compared to EBIs, non-EBIs were less likely to use peer intervention deliverers, include sexual communication in their interventions, and intervene at the community level. Incorporating characteristics associated with EBIs may strengthen behavioral interventions for MSM. More EBIs are needed for substance-using MSM, MSM of color, MSM residing in the south and MSM in couples.

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