Sexual behaviour of people living with HIV in London: implications for HIV transmission.

City University London, and Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
AIDS (Impact Factor: 6.56). 02/2007; 21 Suppl 1:S63-70. DOI: 10.1097/01.aids.0000255087.62223.ff
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine the sexual behaviour of gay men as well as black African heterosexual men and women living with diagnosed HIV in London, and to consider the implications for HIV transmission.
People living with HIV receiving treatment and care in outpatient clinics in north east London were asked to complete a confidential, self-administered questionnaire in 2004-2005. Respondents were asked about unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse in the previous 3 months, and the type (main or casual) and HIV status of their partner(s).
A total of 1687 people with diagnosed HIV returned a completed questionnaire (response rate 73% of eligible clinic attenders) including 480 black African heterosexual women, 224 black African heterosexual men and 758 gay/bisexual men (464 white, 112 ethnic minority). One in five gay men with HIV (20.1%, 144/715) reported unprotected anal intercourse with a partner of unknown or discordant HIV status (usually a casual partner). This presents a risk of HIV transmission. By comparison, one in 20 (5.1%, 32/623) black African heterosexual men and women with HIV reported unprotected vaginal intercourse that presented a risk of HIV transmission; odds ratio (gay men versus black African men and women combined) 5.28, 95% confidence interval 3.52, 7.91, P<0.001. Neither viral load nor being on HAART were significantly associated with unprotected intercourse among gay men or black African heterosexual men and women (P>0.05).
Behavioural research among people with diagnosed HIV in London shows that gay men are more likely than black African heterosexual men and women to engage in sexual behaviour that presents a risk of HIV transmission.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Life expectancy for people diagnosed with HIV has improved dramatically however the number of new infections in the UK remains high. Understanding patterns of sexual behaviour among people living with diagnosed HIV, and the factors associated with having condom-less sex, is important for informing HIV prevention strategies and clinical care. In addition, in view of the current interest in a policy of early antiretroviral treatment (ART) for all people diagnosed with HIV in the UK, it is of particular importance to assess whether ART use is associated with increased levels of condom-less sex. In this context the ASTRA study was designed to investigate current sexual activity, and attitudes to HIV transmission risk, in a large unselected sample of HIV-infected patients under care in the UK. The study also gathered background information on demographic, socio-economic, lifestyle and disease-related characteristics, and physical and psychological symptoms, in order to identify other key factors impacting on HIV patients and the behaviours which underpin transmission. In this paper we describe the study rationale, design, methods, response rate and the demographic characteristics of the participants. People diagnosed with HIV infection attending 8 UK HIV out-patient clinics in 2011-2012 were invited to participate in the study. Those who agreed to participate completed a confidential, self-administered pen-and-paper questionnaire, and their latest CD4 count and viral load test results were recorded. During the study period, 5112 eligible patients were invited to take part in the study and 3258 completed questionnaires were obtained, representing a response rate of 64% of eligible patients. The study includes 2248 men who have sex with men (MSM), 373 heterosexual men and 637 women. Future results from ASTRA will be a key resource for understanding HIV transmission within the UK, targeting prevention efforts, and informing clinical care of individuals living with HIV.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e77230. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0077230 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To systematically review the evidence on the association between knowledge of HIV-positive status or use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and high-risk transmission behaviors, we searched Ovid MEDLINE from 2004 to February 2012 and the Cochrane Library Database through the first quarter of 2012. Four observational studies meeting inclusion criteria addressed HIV-positive status and seven addressed the use of ART and effects on behavior. Studies including both average and high-risk populations were conducted in developed countries and were rated at least fair quality. Overall, knowledge of HIV-positive status was associated with less engagement in high-risk transmission behaviors, and the use of ART was not found to increase participation in high-risk transmission behaviors by HIV-positive individuals.
    AIDS Care 09/2013; DOI:10.1080/09540121.2013.832723 · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The relationship between loss-to-follow-up (LTFU) in HIV treatment and care programmes and psychosocial factors, including self-reported stigma, is important to understand. This prospective cohort study explored stigma and LTFU in treatment eligible adults who had yet not started antiretroviral therapy (ART). Psychosocial, clinical and demographic data were collected at a baseline interview. Self-reported stigma was measured with a multi-item scale. LTFU was defined as not attending clinic in the 90 days since last appointment or before death. Data was collected between January 2009 and January 2013 and analysed using Cox Regression. 380 individuals were recruited (median time in study 3.35 years, total time at risk 1065.81 person-years). 203 were retained (53.4%), 109 were LTFU (28.7%), 48 had died and were not LTFU at death (12.6%) and 20 had transferred out (5.3%). The LTFU rate was 10.65 per 100 person-years (95% CI: 8.48-12.34). 362 individuals (95.3%) started ART. Stigma total score (categorised in quartiles) was not significantly associated with LTFU in either univariable or multivariable analysis (adjusting for other variables in the final model): second quartile aHR 0.77 (95%CI: 0.41-1.46), third quartile aHR 1.20(95%CI: 0.721-2.04), fourth quartile aHR 0.62 (95%CI: 0.35-1.11). In the final multivariable model, higher LTFU rates were associated with male gender, increased openness with friends/family and believing that community problems would be solved at higher levels. Lower LTFU rates were independently associated with increased year of age, greater reliance on family/friends, and having children. Demographic and other psychosocial factors were more closely related to LTFU than self-reported stigma. This may be consistent with high levels of social exposure to HIV and ART and with stigma affecting LTFU less than other stages of care. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88235. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088235 · 3.53 Impact Factor