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Rates of Condom and Non-Condom-Based Anal Intercourse Practices Among Homosexually Active Men in Australia: Deliberate HIV Risk Reduction?

January 23, 2012

"Three decades into the HIV epidemic and with the advancement of HIV treatments, condom and non-condom-based anal intercourse among gay men in resource-rich countries needs to be re-assessed," the authors wrote to introduce the current study.

The team used data from the ongoing cross-sectional Gay Community Periodic Surveys, in six Australian states from 2007 to 2009, to estimate the proportions of men engaging in a range of anal intercourse practices. Comparisons were made between men who were HIV-negative, HIV-positive men with an undetectable viral load, and those with a detectable viral load.

"Condoms play a key role in gay men's anal intercourse practices," the authors found. Consistent condom use with all male partners in the six months prior to the survey was reported by 33.8 percent of HIV-negative men, 25.1 percent of HIV-positive men with an undetectable viral load, and 22.5 percent of those with a detectable viral load.

Among HIV-negative men, the second-largest group comprised men who had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) only within the context of HIV-negative seroconcordant regular relationships. Among the HIV-positive men, the second-largest group comprised those who had UAI in casual encounters preceded by HIV status disclosure to some, but not to all, casual partners.

"A minority, yet sizable proportion, of men consistently engaged in a number of UAI practices in specific contexts, suggesting they have adopted deliberate risk-reduction strategies," the researchers concluded. "While it is important that HIV behavioral prevention continues to reinforce condom use, it needs to address both the challenges and opportunities of the substantial uptake of non-condom-based risk-reduction strategies."

Back to other news for January 2012

Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
10.2011; Vol. 87; No. 6: P. 489-493; Limin Mao; Susan C. Kippax; Martin Holt; Garrett P. Prestage; Iryna B. Zablotska; John B.F. de Wit

More From This Resource Center

Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?

Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men
More on HIV Prevention Research in Gay Men

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