Longitudinal Findings on Changes in and the Link Between HIV-Related Communication, Risky Sexual Behavior, and Relationship Status in Men Who Have Sex With Men Living With HIV

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Abstract

Background

Reducing the risk of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) is a national health priority. This study longitudinally examined changes in and the link between HIV-related communication, unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), and relationship status among MSM.

Methods

Data were obtained from 337 MSM living with HIV who participated in a randomized controlled study. Approximately equal percentages of men were randomized to either the disclosure intervention group or the attention control case management group. Repeated measures were collected at 5 time points for 12 months and included health-protective sexual communication (HPSC), HIV disclosure, insertive and receptive UAI, and relationship status. Data were analyzed using mixed-effects models.

Results

Independent of the treatment condition, HPSC and HIV disclosure increased over time; insertive UAI showed a curvilinear pattern but no significant decrease over time. Relationship status was related to HIV-related communication and UAI. Greater HPSC was related to less insertive and receptive UAI; disclosure was positively related to insertive UAI.

Conclusions

Based on the findings, prevention programs should continue to focus on improving HIV-related communication among MSM and consider relationship status in prevention messages. Intervention studies are needed to continue to identify and test factors that help reduce risky sexual behaviors.

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