Local and Community News
San Francisco: Prevention Efforts Ignore Late-Night Crowd, Study Finds
February 19, 2003
Prevention messages are failing to reach those men who engage in the late night party and play scene, where an alarming number of gay and bisexual men are using drugs and engaging in unsafe sex, according to a new study released by the San Francisco health department.Adapted from:
The "Party and Play Study," looked at HIV risk in a late night population in San Francisco. The study examined the sexual behaviors and drug use of 391 individuals: 356 men who have sex with men and 35 male-to-female transgenders. Researchers spent six months, from September 2000 to April 2001, interviewing the men and women. Researchers talked to people found between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. in streets, cruising areas, bars, dance clubs, and public sex environments in the Castro, Mission, Polk, and South of Market neighborhoods.
Over a third of the men reported injecting drugs within the past three months. And 84 percent said they had used a non-injected drug within the same time period. Of those studied, 69 percent were HIV-negative, 24 percent were known positives and 7 percent tested positive for the first time.
The study also found that out of 192 men who were bottoms [receptive partners] during sex, 67 percent said they did not use condoms. Out of 247 men who were tops [insertive partners], 64 percent said they had not used condoms. A majority of men also said they had unprotected anal sex with a partner of unknown HIV status: 84 out of 138 tops and 65 out of 107 bottoms.
While 82 percent of the participants said they had seen condoms when they were at a club or bar, only 56 percent of those men had taken condoms.
"Our data suggests HIV prevention efforts do not appear to be reaching this population, especially first-time positives," said Mike Pendo, an HIV researcher in the Department of Public Health AIDS Office, who helped author the study.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
02.06.03; Matthew S. Bajko
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.