Newly Diagnosed HIV+ Men Underreport Male Sexual Encounters

Philip J. Peters MD DTM&H (Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene) Medical Officer, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention US Centers for Disease Control and Preventio Atlanta Interview with:
Philip J. Peters MD DTM&H
(Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene)
Medical Officer,
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta Georgia

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Peters: We recruited participants from the STOP project, an existing multi-site study in North Carolina, New York City, and San Francisco, to analyze self-reported HIV-related risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM). We found that newly diagnosed HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in North Carolina (predominately young and African American) did not always report male sex partners at the time of HIV testing.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Peters: The study suggests that men in some settings may under-report male sex partners, which means that novel strategies are needed to accurately assess their risk.  Bisexual men might also have additional barriers to accurately reporting HIV risk behaviors. Accurately reporting risk behaviors allows health care providers and public health officials to better understand risk in the community and offer appropriate HIV prevention services, such as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), to those at risk.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Peters: More research is needed to better understand the risk behaviors at an individual level to allow providers to offer appropriate counseling and HIV prevention services. Examples of potential strategies include increased access to testing venues that are customized for young African American MSM, increased use of technology to administer risk screening privately (e.g., a risk screening tool that can be completed on a mobile device or a clinic’s tablet computer), and increased education regarding the benefits of new HIV prevention interventions, such as PrEP, that can be offered if the patient’s risk for HIV infection is accurately ascertained. We plan to look at similar data from the other sites.  As the study populations differ, we expect the results may be different too.


Unreported Male Sex Partners Among Men with Newly Diagnosed HIV Infection — North Carolina, 2011–2013 MMWR Weekly

Hsiu Wu, MD1; Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman, MD2; Cynthia L. Gay, MD2; Xinjian Zhang, PhD1; Steve Beagle2; Laura Hall, MPH1,3; Tonyka Jackson, MPH1,3; Jenni Marmorino, PhD2; Ann N. Do, MD1; Philip J. Peters, MD1

September 25, 2015 / 64(37);1037-1041

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Philip J. Peters MD DTM&H (2015). Newly Diagnosed HIV+ Men Underreport Male Sexual Encounters