237760 Relationship between treatment optimism and HIV risk behavior among MSM

Monday, October 31, 2011

Catherine Dubicki, BS , Department of Health Science, The College at Brockport, State University of New York, Brockport, NY
Douglas M. Scheidt, PhD , School of Education and Human Services, SUNY College at Brockport, Brockport, NY
Priya Banerjee, PhD , Department of Health Science, State University of New York, College at Brockport, Brockport, NY
Approximately 56,300 people were newly infected with HIV in 2006 and over half of the new infections occurred among gay and bisexual men (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). The treatment of HIV has modified the natural course of the disease which has lead to a change in the attitudes and behaviors of men who have sex with men (MSM). The success of the new treatments in improving the quality of life and prolonging life expectancy of HIV infected persons might be minimizing the gravity of risk in acquiring HIV infection. This sense of diminished vulnerability might be a contributing factor in the loss of motivation to practice safe sex. The study was conducted to predict extent of risky behaviors of MSM such as unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) and number of partners during the past year, based on their perceived level of treatment optimism. The survey was a paper and pencil self report instrument which included a variety of demographic information, HIV risk behavior (e.g., unprotected anal intercourse) and theoretically related variables (e.g., perceived severity and transmissibility of HIV, alcohol and drug use). The sample was one of convenience, the survey was distributed at a Gay Pride celebration. Results indicated that there was a weak, but statistically significant negative correlation between unprotected anal intercourse and treatment optimism (Spearman's r = -.232, p<.01) interpretively, for these participants, despite their high level of treatment optimism, they had few unprotected anal sex encounters.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to describe the relationship between between treatment optimism (i.e., perceived transmissibility & perceived severity) and HIV risk behavior among MSM.

Keywords: Treatment Patterns, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is my research interest and I plan on completing my Master's thesis with this topic.
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.