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Sexual behavior and sexual risk among persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City

Angela A. Aidala, PhD, Center for Applied Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th Street, Suite 1119, New York, NY 10032, 212-305-7023, aaa1@columbia.edu, Gunjeong Lee, Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168 St, New York, NY 10032, Mary Ann Chiasson, DrPH, Research and Evaluation Unit, Medical and Health Research Association of New York City, 40 Worth Street Suite 720, New York, NY 10013, and Samantha Garbers, MPA, Research & Evaluation, Medical & Health Research Association of New York City, Inc., 40 Worth Street, Suite 720, New York, NY 10013.

Background: Increasing attention has been paid to the importance of understanding sexual behaviors among persons living with HIV that put others at risk for infection and themselves at risk for re-infection. Study goals are to 1) describe overtime patterns of sexual behavior among persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City ; 2) examine demographics, economic resources, health and mental health status, substance use, and service utilization as predictors of unsafe sex. Methods: Prospective cohort study of a representative sample of 968 adults living with HIV in New York City interviewed every 6-12 months between 1994 and 2001. Self-reported information on sexual initiation, opposite sex and same sex experiences, number of lifetime and past six month partners, sex in exchange for money or drugs and unprotected sex with HIV negative or status unknown partners (“risky” sex). Findings: 58% of men and 65% of women were sexually inactive for one or more six month periods; 11% of men reported recent experience of risky sex with another man and 16% reported risky sex with a woman; 36% of women reported risky sex with a man. Contextual factors such as housing and access to medical care are as important as individual characteristics as predictors of unsafe sex as well as sexual exchanges. Conclusion: Patterns of sexual behavior change over time among persons living with HIV. Contextual factors as well as individual attitudes and motivations should be considered when designing prevention interventions for HIV positive persons.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Access to HIV/AIDS Testing, Treatment, and Health Care Services

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA