How Different are Men Who Do Not Know Their HIV Status from Those Who Do? Results from an U.S. Online Study of Gay and Bisexual Men
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We compared self-described HIV-positive (31.6 %, n = 445), HIV-negative (56.8 %, n = 801), and HIV-unknown (11.6 %, n = 164) gay and bisexual men on sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics. Participants from across the U.S. were enrolled via a popular sexual networking website to complete an online survey. In total, 44.8 % of HIV-negative and HIV-unknown men said they had not been tested for HIV in the CDC-recommended last 6 months. HIV-unknown men significantly differed from HIV-negative and HIV-positive men in sexual behavior and HIV status disclosure patterns. HIV-unknown men were more willing than HIV-negative men to take PrEP; however, HIV-unknown men were significantly less likely than others to have health insurance or a primary care provider. Given the observed differences, researchers should consider analyzing men who are HIV-unknown distinctly from HIV-negative and HIV-positive men.
KeywordsHIV testing Men who have sex with men Gay and bisexual men Condomless anal sex HIV status disclosure
Comparamos hombres auto-descritos como gay y bisexuales (GBM), VIH-positivo (31.6 %, n = 445), VIH-negativo (56.8 %, n = 801), y VIH-desconocido (11.6 %, n = 164) en características sociodemográficas y conductuales. Participantes de todo los EE.UU. fueron inscritos a través de un sitio web popular de redes sexuales para completar una encuesta en línea. En total, el 44.8 % de los hombres VIH-negativo y VIH-desconocido reportaron no haberse realizado la prueba para detectar el VIH dentro de los últimos 6 meses recomendados por el CDC. Hombres VIH-desconocido difirieron significativamente de hombres VIH-negativo y VIH-positivo en comportamiento sexual y patrones de revelación de su estado de VIH. Hombres VIH-desconocido estuvieron más dispuestos a tomar PrEP que hombres VIH-negativo; sin embargo, hombres VIH-desconocido fueron significativamente menos propensos a tener un seguro médico o proveedor de atención primaria. Dadas las diferencias observadas, los investigadores deben considerar analizar los hombres VIH-desconocido de un modo distinto de los hombres VIH-negativo y VIH-positivo.
Data for this study were gathered in concert with online recruitment efforts to identify and screen potential participants to enroll in one of the following studies conducted at the Hunter College Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST): Express Yourself (R03DA033868—Brooke Wells, Principal Investigator), Keep it Up (R01 DA035145– Brian Mustanski, Principal Investigator) and WISE (R01 DA029567—Jeffrey T. Parsons, Principal Investigator). Jonathon Rendina was supported by a career development award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K01-DA039030). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors would like to thank Ruben Jimenez for his valuable assistance with the projects, as well as other members of the CHEST Team: Chris Murphy, Ana Ventuneac, Demetria Cain, Carlos Ponton, Chris Hietikko, and Tyrel Starks.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Research involving human subjects
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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