[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the hypothesis that black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) who have supportive social relationships with other people are less likely to have unrecognized HIV infection compared with MSM of color who report lower levels of social support. We interviewed 1286 black and Latino MSM without known HIV infection in three metropolitan areas who were recruited using respondent driven sampling. Participants completed a computer-administered questionnaire and were tested for HIV. Unrecognized HIV infection was found in 118 men (9.2%). MSM who scored higher on the supportive relationship index had significantly lower odds of testing HIV-positive in the study. The mediation analysis identified two possible behavioral pathways that may partially explain this association: men who had strong supportive relationships were more likely to have had a test for HIV infection in the past 2 years and less likely to have recently engaged in high-risk sexual behavior. The findings illuminate the protective role of social relationships among MSM of color in our sample.
AIDS and Behavior 07/2011; 16(3):508-15. · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sterile syringe access is an important means to reduce HIV risk, but many injection drug users (IDU) who obtain syringes from sterile sources continue to share syringes. We examined the factors associated with continuing syringe sharing in New York City. We recruited 500 active IDU in 2005 through respondent-driven sampling. In multiple logistic regression, not obtaining all syringes in the past year exclusively from sterile sources was associated with increased syringe sharing. Ensuring adequate syringe availability as well as engaging and retaining nonusers and inconsistent users in sterile syringe services may increase sterile syringe access and decrease syringe sharing.
Substance Use & Misuse 01/2011; 46(2-3):192-200. · 1.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV testing is an important HIV prevention strategy, yet heterosexuals at high risk do not test as frequently as other groups. We examined the association of past year HIV testing and encounters with institutional settings where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual testing for high-risk heterosexuals.
We recruited high-risk heterosexuals in New York City in 2006 to 2007 through respondent-driven sampling. Respondents were asked the date of their most recent HIV test and any potential encounters with 4 testing settings (homeless shelters, jails/prisons, drug treatment programs, and health care providers). Analyses were stratified by gender.
Of the 846 respondents, only 31% of men and 35% of women had a past year HIV test, but over 90% encountered at least one testing setting. HIV seroprevalence was 8%. In multiple logistic regression, recent HIV testing was significantly associated with recent encounters with homeless shelters and jails/prisons for men, and encounters with health care providers for both men and women.
HIV testing was low overall but higher for those with exposures to potential routine testing settings. Further expansion of testing in these settings would likely increase testing rates and may decrease new HIV infections among high-risk heterosexuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least annual human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening for men who have sex with men (MSM), a large number of HIV infections among this population go unrecognized. We examined the association between disclosing to their medical providers (eg, physicians, nurses, physician assistants) same-sex attraction and self-reported HIV testing among MSM in New York City, New York.
All men recruited from the New York City National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) project who reported at least 1 male sex partner in the past year and self-reported as HIV seronegative were included in the analysis. The primary outcome of interest was a participant having told his health care provider that he is attracted to or has sex with other men. Sociodemographic and behavioral factors were examined in relation to disclosure of same-sex attraction.
Among the 452 MSM respondents, 175 (39%) did not disclose to their health care providers. Black and Hispanic MSM (adjusted odds ratios, 0.28 [95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.53] and 0.46 [95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.85], respectively) were less likely than white MSM to have disclosed to their health care providers. No MSM who identified themselves as bisexual had disclosed to their health care providers. Those who had ever been tested for HIV were more likely to have disclosed to their health care providers (adjusted odds ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-4.38).
These data suggest that risk-based HIV testing, which is contingent on health care providers being aware of their patients' risks, could miss these high-risk persons.
Archives of internal medicine 08/2008; 168(13):1458-64. · 11.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to describe the history of tuberculosis disease and tuberculin skin testing among the New York City House Ballroom community--a social network of diverse sexual and gender identities or expressions.
Members of the House Ballroom community were convenience sampled, surveyed, and tested for HIV in 2004. We identified characteristics associated with history of tuberculosis, tuberculin skin testing, and test positivity and described the timing of skin testing.
Of 504 participants, 1.4% (n=7) reported a history of tuberculosis and 81.1% (n=404 of 498) had received a tuberculin skin test. Of those tested, 16 (4%) had positive results, which indicated latent infection, and 68% had received a test in the 2 years prior to the survey. Participants with health insurance were more likely and those with little education were less likely to have received a skin test. HIV-infected participants (16%) were not more likely to have received a tuberculin skin test compared with non-HIV-infected individuals. Foreign-born participants and self-identified heterosexuals and bisexuals were more likely to have had positive skin tests.
Self-reported history of tuberculosis was high among the House Ballroom community. Although many community members had a recent skin test, further efforts should target services to those who are HIV infected, have low education, lack health insurance, or are foreign born.
American Journal of Public Health 07/2008; 98(6):1068-73. · 3.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The full benefit of timely diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is realized only if there is timely initiation of medical care. We used routine surveillance data to measure time to initiation of care in New York City residents diagnosed as having HIV by positive Western blot test in 2003.
The time between the first positive Western blot test and the first reported viral load and/or CD4 cell count or percentage was used to indicate the interval from initial diagnosis of HIV (non-AIDS) to first HIV-related medical care visit. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we identified variables associated with delayed initiation of care and calculated their hazard ratios (HRs).
Of 1928 patients, 1228 (63.7%) initiated care within 3 months of diagnosis, 369 (19.1%) initiated care later than 3 months, and 331 (17.2%) never initiated care. Predictors of delayed care were as follows: diagnosis at a community testing site (HR, 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-2.3), the city correctional system (HR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.0), or Department of Health sexually transmitted diseases or tuberculosis clinics (HR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6) vs a site with colocated primary medical care; nonwhite race/ethnicity (HR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5-2.0); injection drug use (HR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5); and location of birth outside the United States (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2).
A total of 1597 persons (82.8%) diagnosed as having HIV in 2003 ever initiated care, most within 3 months of diagnosis. Initiation of care was most timely when diagnosis occurred at a testing site that offered colocated medical care. Improving referrals by nonmedical sites is critical. However, because most diagnoses occur in medical sites, improving linkage in these sites will have the greatest effect on timely initiation of care.
Archives of internal medicine 07/2008; 168(11):1181-7. · 11.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We measured HIV seroprevalence and associated risk factors among persons in New York City's house ball community.
In 2004 we conducted a venue-based risk-behavior survey and HIV testing in the house ball community.
Of the 504 study participants, 67% were male, 14% female, and 18% transgender. Mean age was 24 years (range=15-52 years); 55% were Black, and 40% were Latino. More than 85% of participants had previously been tested for HIV, although only 60% had been tested in the previous 12 months. Of the 84 (17%) persons who tested positive for HIV in our study, 61 (73%) were unaware of their HIV status. A logistic regression analysis on data from 371 participants who had had a male sexual partner in the previous 12 months showed that HIV-infected participants were more likely than were HIV-negative participants to be Black, to be older than 29 years, and not to have been tested for HIV in the previous 12 months.
Culturally specific community-level prevention efforts are warranted to reduce risk behaviors and increase the frequency of HIV testing in New York City's house ball community.
American Journal of Public Health 07/2008; 98(6):1074-80. · 3.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many behavioral studies of Black men fail to differentiate between those who have sex exclusively with men (MSM) and those who have sex with both men and women (MSMW). Respondent-driven sampling was used to recruit a total of 1,154 Black MSM and MSMW in New York City and Philadelphia. In descriptive analyses, MSMW and MSM were compared on several demographic, health, and behavioral risk correlates using chi-square tests. Differences in prevalence of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) between these two groups were examined in two multivariate logistic regressions. Age, country of birth, self-identified sexual orientation, experience of being forced to have sex, self-reported HIV status, exchange sex for money/food/ drug, and drug use in the past 3 months were significantly associated with either insertive or receptive UAI in the past 3 months. The strongest correlate of either insertive or receptive UAI among both groups of men was engaging in exchange sex. Differences between MSMW and MSM were found in the areas of forced sexual experiences, disclosure of same sex behavior, and history of being arrested or incarcerated. Findings from our study highlight the need for specific HIV prevention interventions targeting Black MSMW as distinguished from Black MSM.
Archives of Sexual Behavior 06/2008; 37(5):697-707. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine characteristics of circumcised and uncircumcised Latino and black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States and assess the association between circumcision and HIV infection.
Using respondent-driven sampling, 1154 black MSM and 1091 Latino MSM were recruited from New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. A 45-minute computer-assisted interview and a rapid oral fluid HIV antibody test (OraSure Technologies, Bethlehem, PA) were administered to participants.
Circumcision prevalence was higher among black MSM than among Latino MSM (74% vs. 33%; P < 0.0001). Circumcised MSM in both racial/ethnic groups were more likely than uncircumcised MSM to be born in the United States or to have a US-born parent. Circumcision status was not associated with prevalent HIV infection among Latino MSM, black MSM, black bisexual men, or black or Latino men who reported being HIV-negative based on their last HIV test. Further, circumcision was not associated with a reduced likelihood of HIV infection among men who had engaged in unprotected insertive and not unprotected receptive anal sex.
In these cross-sectional data, there was no evidence that being circumcised was protective against HIV infection among black MSM or Latino MSM.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. HIV incidence is decreasing among injection drug users (IDU) in New York City, where sterile syringes are available from multiple legal sources. Nevertheless, many IDU continue to share syringes. We explored the relationship between syringe source and sharing.
Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of active IDU recruited through respondent-driven sampling as part of CDC's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance. In a structured interview, participants were asked where they obtained syringes and whether they shared syringes in the past year.
Results. 500 eligible IDU completed the study between July December 2005. Participants obtained syringes from a syringe exchange (71%), pharmacy (51%), medical provider (11%), friend (55%), or drug dealer (29%). 21% shared syringes. In multiple logistic regression controlling for demographic and injection-related factors (e.g., frequency of injection and number of drugs injected) associated with syringe source, IDU who obtained syringes from a syringe exchange were less likely to share syringes (OR=0.6, p<0.05) while IDU who obtained syringes from a friend (OR=2.2, p<0.01), or a dealer (OR=2.0, p=0.01) were twice as likely to share syringes. Obtaining syringes from a medical provider or pharmacy did not significantly influence sharing.
Conclusions. Syringe sharing varied by source of syringes. Obtaining syringes from drug dealers and friends increased the likelihood of sharing. Two sterile syringe sources (pharmacies and medical providers) were not associated with decreased syringe sharing. Only syringe exchange was associated with a significant decrease in syringe sharing. Exchange programs successfully reduce risk through counseling and support services that other sources cannot provide.
135st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2007; 11/2007
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 2004-2005 survey among 503 men who have sex with men who attend public venues in New York City was used to examine the relationship of amphetamine use with sexual risk behaviors. Among the men recruited, 51.1% were under 30 years of age, 27.4% were Latino, and 23.3% were African American. Most identified as either gay (78.9%) or bisexual (18.1%). A standardized questionnaire collected data on demographics, sexual risk behaviors, drug and alcohol use, history of HIV testing, and occurrences of sexually transmitted infections. Amphetamine use in the past year was reported by 13.8%. Of those, 71.0% used amphetamines with sex. Amphetamine use was associated with unprotected receptive anal intercourse with non-main partners. In event-specific analysis, amphetamine use was higher with unprotected encounters compared with protected encounters. This study confirms the association between amphetamine use and sexual risk furthers our understanding of risky circumstances and lays the groundwork for the design of interventions.
Substance Use & Misuse 02/2007; 42(10):1613-28. · 1.23 Impact Factor