Human immunodeficiency virus testing and risk behaviors among young men who have sex with men in los angeles county.

Published: March 16, 2011


Abstract Purpose . This study investigated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and risk behaviors in a longitudinal sample of young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Design . Data came from the Healthy Young Men’s study, comprising five waves of nonexperimental survey data collection every 6 months between February 2005 and January 2008. Setting . Participants were recruited from public venues in Los Angeles County in which YMSM spend time. Subjects . A total of 526 participants (24% African-American, 37% white, 39% Latino; mean age, 20.14 years; range, 18?24 years) were enrolled. Retention was 93%. Measures . Testing recency was assessed with a four-point ordinal scale. HIV risk behaviors were operationalized as binary measures of unprotected anal intercourse with multiple partners or partners with unknown or discordant serostatus, club drug use, and illicit drug use over the prior 3 months. Analysis . Correlations, Cochran’s Q tests, and repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed in SPSS. Analyses included all data available at each wave. Results . No significant correlations emerged between testing recency and sex risk at any wave. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed significant positive, linear change in HIV testing recency over time, but no significant changes emerged for sex risk or drug use. Conclusion . Although participation in testing increased, there was no corresponding change in HIV risk behavior. Initiatives may need to target risk behavior separately and specifically to reduce these behaviors among YMSM.

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