266642 How do HIV and STIs measure up against other health issues for gay and bisexual men? Implications for a comprehensive approach to improve health

Monday, October 29, 2012

Christian Grov, PhD, MPH , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Brooklyn College of CUNY and the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, Brooklyn, NY
Ana Ventuneac, PhD , Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY
H. Jonathon Rendina, MA, MPH , Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) and Basic and Applied Social Psychology Doctoral Program, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY
Ruben Jimenez , Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, New York, NY
Jeffrey T. Parsons, PhD , Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College, New York, NY
BACKGROUND: Studies have noted that disparities in HIV are often accompanied by other negative social and health issues, and that comprehensive approaches toward HIV prevention would be remiss to overlook other health issues. METHODS: We explored factors associated with ratings on five health issues for gay and bisexual men: “HIV & STIs,” “Drugs & Alcohol,” “Body Image,” “Mental Health,” and “Smoking.” Data were gathered in 2011 using time-space sampling in gay bars/clubs and bathhouses in New York City (N = 660). We compared ratings based on demographic characteristics, recent drug use, and recent sexual risk behavior. RESULTS: Contrary to research indicating that gay and bisexual men may be experiencing HIV prevention fatigue, we found that HIV and STIs were rated highest. High ratings for HIV and STIs were unassociated with HIV status, sexual identity, race and ethnicity, being recently sexually active with new partners, or recent drug use. Drugs and alcohol and mental health were also rated high, suggesting that providers may be well served to include mental health and drugs and alcohol as part of their comprehensive approach to HIV prevention. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings that HIV and STIs, along with substance use and mental health, were rated high signals that providers may consider developing multifaceted prevention and education programs that target improving overall health of gay and bisexual men.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare how gay and bisexual men rate HIV and STIs relative to other health issues. Describe a comprehensive approach for HIV prevention and outreach.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Gay Men

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have more than a decade of experience doing HIV prevention and research with gay and bisexual men. This includes a diverse set of methodological approaches not limited to community-based research, probability sampling, formative qualitative and quantitative research, and intervention development and evaluation. The projects on which I have been involved have been instrumental to improving the lives of gay and bisexual men.
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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