142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Developmental Change in the Effects of Sexual Partnership Characteristics on Sexual Risk Behavior in Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Michael E. Newcomb, Ph.D. , Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Brian Mustanski, PhD , Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Background Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are the only group in which rates of new HIV infections are increasing in the U.S. Partner characteristics (e.g., sexual partner age) and relationship factors (e.g., serious/casual) have an important impact on HIV risk, but analyses have not modeled developmental change in these effects over time. Methods: Data were taken from 118 YMSM enrolled in Project Q2, a longitudinal study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth with 4 years of follow-up (developmental age range 16-25). Participants reported on their 3 most recent sexual partners during the 6 months before each assessment, as well as details regarding partner and relationship characteristics. Analyses were conducted using Hierarchical Linear Modeling.  Results: Various partner and relationship characteristics were longitudinally associated with likelihood of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), including serious (vs. casual) partnerships (ERR=12.50), forced sex (ERR=2.04), physical violence (ERR=1.88), and larger partner age differences (ERR=1.18). In terms of developmental change, the positive associations between several partnership factors and UAI increased with participant age, including the effects of serious (vs. casual) partnerships, forced sex, physical violence, partner age difference, and meeting partners online.  Conclusions: Our novel analysis of developmental change in the effects of partnership characteristics on UAI indicates that the impact of these variables on HIV risk increases substantially from adolescence into emerging adulthood. Findings suggest that couples-based interventions may have a profound impact on HIV risk and should address safer sex options in serious relationships, partner violence, and risks of age discordant relationships.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe partner-level predictors of sexual risk behavior in a longitudinal study of young men who have sex with men with 4 years of follow-up data. Examine developmental change in the effects of sexual partnership factors on HIV risk from adolescence into emerging adulthood (longitudinal age range 16-25). Provide recommendations for couples-based interventions to improve the emotional, physical and sexual health of young men who have sex with men.

Keyword(s): HIV Risk Behavior, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been Principal Investigator of multiple federally-funded grants focused on HIV risk in men who have sex with men (MSM). I am currently PI of an R03 from NIDA that examines the conditions under which sexual diary observational studies become self-monitoring interventions for young MSM. I am also currently PI of a research contract to conduct CDCís National HIV Behavioral Surveillance with young MSM ages 13-17.
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.