AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1266–1278 | Cite as

HIV Prevalence and Sexual Risk Behaviors Associated with Awareness of HIV Status Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Paris, France

  • Annie Velter
  • Francis Barin
  • Alice Bouyssou
  • Jérôme Guinard
  • Lucie Léon
  • Stéphane Le Vu
  • Josiane Pillonel
  • Bruno Spire
  • Caroline Semaille
Original Paper


A cross-sectional survey, using self-sampled finger-prick blood on blotting paper and anonymous behavioral self-administrated questionnaires was conducted in Paris in 2009 among MSM attending gay venues. Paired biological results and questionnaires were available for 886 participants. HIV seroprevalence was 17.7 % (95 % CI: 15.3–20.4). Four groups were identified according to their knowledge of their HIV biological status. Among the 157 found to be seropositive, 31 (19.7 %) were unaware of their status and reported high levels of sexual risk behaviors and frequent HIV testing in the previous 12 months. Among the 729 MSM diagnosed HIV-negative, 183 were no longer sure whether they were still HIV-negative, or had never been tested despite the fact that they engaged in at-risk sexual behaviors. This study provides the first estimate of HIV seroprevalence among MSM in Paris and underlines the specific need for combined prevention of HIV infection in this MSM population.


MSM HIV prevalence Genetic diversity Sexual behavior HIV status awareness 


Se realizó un estudio transversal en hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH) reclutados en establecimientos de ambiente gay en Paris en 2009. Los datos se obtuvieron a partir de un cuestionario anónimo y autocumplimentado, y de muestras de sangre autoextraídas posteriormente analizadas. Un total de 886 participantes con cuestionario y resultado diagnóstico fueron incluidos. La seroprevalencia del VIH fue de 17.7 % (IC95 % 15.3–20.4 %). Entre los 157 HSH VIH-positivos, 31 (19.7 %) desconocían su estatus serológico y declararon mantener conductas de riesgo y haber realizado frecuentemente la prueba del VIH en los 12 meses previos. Entre los 729 HSH VIH-negativos, 183 declararon no estar más seguros de su estatus serológico, o no haber realizado nunca el test diagnóstico a pesar de practicar conductas de riesgo. Este es el primer estudio de seroprevalencia realizado en HSH en Paris, y enfatiza la necesidad de una prevención integral del VIH en este colectivo.



The authors would like to acknowledge the owners of the bars, backrooms and saunas, the survey team from the Union of Gay Businesses (Antonio Alexandre, Rémi Calmon, Stéphane Calvarin, Sébastien Cambeau, Philippe Couteau, Richard De Wewer, Jérôme Derrien, Julien Escolano, Matthieu Folléa, David Friboulet, Sylvain Guillet, Roberto Labuthie, Patrice Louvet, Mathieu Panel, Jérôme Rivon, Christophe Robert, Gérard Siad), and men who agreed to participate in the Prevagay study. The authors thank Audrey Renaud for her excellent technical assistance, Sylvie Brunet and Damien Thierry for their help in serotyping and genotyping, and Marie-Laure Chaix for exchanged information on viral sequences, Christine Saura for her critical review of the manuscript and Jude Sweeney for his revision and editing of the English manuscript and Francisco Nogareda Moreno for his translation of the Spanish abstract. Our thanks to the ANRS scientific COPIL members: Stéphane Chevalier, Véronique Doré, Gabriel Girard, Isabelle Grémy. The PREVAGAY study was funded by InVS and ANRS (Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales).

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annie Velter
    • 1
  • Francis Barin
    • 2
  • Alice Bouyssou
    • 1
  • Jérôme Guinard
    • 2
  • Lucie Léon
    • 1
  • Stéphane Le Vu
    • 1
  • Josiane Pillonel
    • 1
  • Bruno Spire
    • 3
  • Caroline Semaille
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Veille SanitaireSaint-Maurice cedexFrance
  2. 2.Centre national de référence du VIH, Inserm U966Université François-Rabelais and CHU BretonneauToursFrance
  3. 3.INSERM, U912 (SE4S)MarseilleFrance

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