244489 Marriage, monogamy and risk: A study of HIV/STI risk perception, testing and diagnosis among LGBT individuals in the Midwest

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jessica Chavez , College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Maureen Gatere, MPH (c) , Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Christopher Fisher, PhD , Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Jason D. Coleman, PhD, MSPH , School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE
Jay Irwin, PhD , Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE
John Ikhena, BA , College of Public Health, Univeristy of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Background: The promotion of monogamous relationships has been recognized as a feasible strategy reducing the risk for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI). This strategy presents challenges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples who often lack the option of legally recognized relationships. This study examined differences in perceived risk, testing, and diagnosis of HIV/STI among married, exclusively partnered, and non-partnered LGBT persons. Methods: A community-based participatory research approach was utilized to develop an online anonymous survey. Participants (N=770) were recruited via advertisements, press releases, and listserves. Participants represented western Iowa (same-sex partnership recognition) and Nebraska (no same-sex partnership recognition). Results: No differences were found among groups for HIV and STI diagnosis and HIV testing. Testing for STIs other than HIV was significant across all groups, X2 (2, N=748)=13.486, p < .01; those not in a married or exclusively partnered relationship were more likely to have been tested in the past year (n=111, 33.1%) while married persons were least likely to have been tested (n=15, 16.0%). One-way ANOVA revealed unpartnered LGBT persons were more likely than married and exclusively partnered persons to have a higher perceived risk for STIs, including HIV [F(2, 661)=19.382, p<.01]. However, while statistically different, single individuals had relatively low levels of perceived risk (M=8.51 on 18 point scale). Conclusions: While results suggest that monogamy is seen by partnered LGBT as a viable risk reduction strategy, continued efforts to raise HIV/STI risk perception among individuals who are not in exclusive relationships are needed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe HIV and STI testing habits and rates for married, partnered and non-partnered LGBT individuals in Nebraska and western Iowa; Assess relationship status’ role in perceptions of STI risk among LGBT individuals in monogamous relationships in Nebraska and western Iowa.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a part of the research team that conducted the study.
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.

See more of: HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategies
See more of: HIV/AIDS