HIV Prevalence and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: Results From a Statewide Population-Based Survey in California

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Abstract

Objectives:

To investigate HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) between 18 and 64 years old living in California.

Design:

Cross-sectional study of a statewide population-based sample of MSM.

Methods:

Using data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001), 398 men who self-identified as gay or bisexual were recontacted and interviewed by telephone for a follow-up study in 2002. Study participants were interviewed regarding their demographic characteristics and sexual behavior, HIV testing history, and HIV infection status. Those who self-reported as HIV-negative or of unknown status were offered an HIV test using a home urine specimen collection kit.

Results:

HIV prevalence among MSM in California was 19.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.8% to 25.3%) with higher rates seen among the following subgroups: high school or less education (40.4%), annual income less than $20,000 (35.0%), or history of ever injecting recreational drugs (40.3%). Young age and Hispanic or African-American race/ethnicity were associated with higher proportions of risky sexual behavior and lower HIV testing rates.

Conclusions:

HIV prevalence among MSM living in California continues to be high across the whole state, and population-based studies are needed periodically to complement findings from surveys using other sampling designs.

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