Sexual Behaviors and Factors Associated with Condomless Sexual Practice in Colombian Men Who Have Sex with Men at High Risk of HIV Transmission

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) have a disproportionate burden of HIV infection worldwide. In Colombia, the prevalence of HIV in MSM is ~ 43 times higher than in the general population (17% vs. 0.4%). This study determined the sexual behaviors, HIV serostatus, and associated factors with condomless sexual practice with both regular and casual partners in 92 MSM from Medellín, Colombia. The subjects were recruited through a community-based approach, and the data were collected by a structured survey and in-depth interviews. Participants were classified into three groups according to the number of sexual partners in the last three months, to compare the sociodemographic conditions and sexual behaviors. Univariate analysis was described by absolute and relative frequencies; bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression were used to compare the groups and to explore the associated factors with condomless sexual practice. The overall HIV estimated prevalence was 4.3%, while the estimated prevalence for MSM with > 10 sexual partners in the last three months was 14.8%. This last group showed higher average age, higher percentage of subjects who have had sex with people living with HIV, and increased frequency of previous sexually transmitted infections. Having condomless sex with casual partners was associated with the number of sexual partners in the last three months. This study demonstrates that Colombian MSM continue to have a high risk of HIV infection/transmission and reinforce the need to implement adequate prevention programs, PrEP and guarantee access to treatment for people living with HIV.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the volunteers who kindly participated in this study for their confidence and priceless help. We also thank the Corporación Stonewall, Consejo Consultivo LGBTI de Medellín, Alianza Social LGBTI de Medellín y Antioquia, Fundación Antioqueña de Infectología, Red de Apoyo Social de Antioquia, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS-Enterritorio, all institution from Medellín, Colombia, for their support in the consecution of volunteers. Finally, we thank to Dr. Andrés Felipe Cardona and the leaders of Corporación Stonewall for their support in the consecution of volunteers and training in the work with LGBTI populations.

Funding

This study was funded by Colciencias and Universidad de Antioquia, Grant No.111565740820; Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Grant INV2193. Author Ana Claudia Ossa-Giraldo received the scholarship Extendiendo Fronteras from SAPIENCIA–Alcadía de Medellín.

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All the authors contributed to the study conception and design: Ana Claudia Ossa-Giraldo contributed to design, subject’s recruitment, data collection and analysis, interpretation and writing of first and subsequent drafts of the paper. Yurany Blanquiceth, John Sebastián Correa, Cristhian Moreno, Lizdany Flórez, and Katherin Contreras, contributed to subject’s recruitment, data collection and interpretation. Felipe Higuita, contributed to data analysis, interpretation and writing of first and subsequent drafts of the paper. Juan Carlos Hernández, and Wildeman Zapata, contributed to design, data interpretation and writing of first and subsequent drafts of the paper. All authors have read and approved the final article for submission.

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Correspondence to Ana Claudia Ossa-Giraldo.

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This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of Universidad de Antioquia (Act No.007, May 22, 2014).

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Ossa-Giraldo, A.C., Correa, J.S., Moreno, C.L. et al. Sexual Behaviors and Factors Associated with Condomless Sexual Practice in Colombian Men Who Have Sex with Men at High Risk of HIV Transmission. Arch Sex Behav (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01856-y

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Keywords

  • Sexual behavior
  • HIV
  • Men who have sex with men
  • High-risk sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • PrEP