205704 HIV risk behavior among Black men who have sex with transgender partners, Boston, Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM

Sari L. Reisner, MA , The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health and Harvard School of Public Heatlh, Boston, MA
Matthew J. Mimiaga, ScD, MPH , Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA
Sean Bland, BA , The Fenway Institute, Fenway Community Health, Boston, MA
Kevin Cranston, MDiv , HIV/AIDS Bureau, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Deborah Isenberg, MPH , HIV/AIDS Bureau, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Kenneth Mayer, MD , Brown University/Miriam Hospital and The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA
Background: Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) who report sex with transgender persons may have unique HIV prevention needs. Research is warranted to explore the contextual, psychosocial, and risk behaviors of BMSM who also have sex with transgender individuals.

Methods: BMSM (n=197) recruited via modified respondent-driven sampling between January-July 2008 completed an interviewer-administered quantitative assessment and optional pre/post-test HIV counseling/testing. Demographics, sexual behavior, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and psychosocial history were collected. Bivariate logistic regression procedures examined associations to having had a transgender sex partner in the past 12 months.

Results: Overall, 8% of the men reported sex with a transgender partner in the past 12 months. Over half (56%) reported unprotected sex during their last encounter with transgender partners, compared with 38% of male and 81% of female sex partners. Factors significantly associated with having a transgender sex partner: unprotected vaginal sex (OR=4.89; p=0.004), history of STDs (OR=4.11; p=0.05), cocaine (OR=3.67; p=0.03) and heroin use during sex in the past 12-months (OR=6.42, p=0.02), history of drug/alcohol treatment (OR=11.11; p=0.002), history of incarceration (OR=7.56; p=0.01), and elevated clinically significant depressive symptoms (higher CES-D scores; OR=1.04; p=0.04).

Conclusions: BMSM who have transgender sex partners may be an important bridge population to consider in HIV prevention efforts, given their increased likelihood of male and female partners. Interventions with BMSM must intervene at multiple levels to address the psychosocial context of sexual risk behavior, including potentially problematic substance use, incarceration, and depression.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the contextual, psychosocial, and HIV risk behaviors of Black men who have sex with transgender partners.

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Sari L. Reisner is a Senior Research Associate for Epidemiology & Behavioral Science Studies at The Fenway Institute, Fenway Community Health. Reisner holds an M.A. from Brandeis University and a B.A. from Georgetown University. He has more than 5 years of experience coordinating community based research projects focusing on the social and behavioral determinants of HIV/AIDS and STDs, specializing in men who have sex with men (MSM). His behavioral science research interests focus at the intersection of physical and mental health, including substance abuse intervention development, health psychology and behavioral medicine within the context of serious illness (HIV/AIDS and cancer), and the epidemiology of mental illness and substance abuse in marginalized populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities. He has co-authored more 16 journal articles (published or under review), two book chapters, and numerous abstracts and poster presentations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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