Meeting sex partners online is associated with HIV and syphilis infection among men who have sex with men and transgender women in Lima, Peru
HIV and syphilis are concentrated epidemics affecting men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) in Peru. Our analysis aimed to determine whether meeting sex partners at certain venues increases the risk of acquisition of HIV and syphilis.
High-risk adult MSM and TW in Lima participated in a clinic-based cohort study including a survey and serologic testing for HIV and syphilis every three months. Multivariable Poisson regression was used to estimate the association between venues where participants reported recently meeting sex partners (clubs, discos, saunas, the internet, or hotels) and recent HIV (acquired ≤6 months before enrollment or during study) or syphilis (baseline RPR >1:8 or acquired during study).
Within the cohort of 401 MSM/TW, 105 had recent HIV (n=32) or syphilis (n=82) during 318.8 person years of follow-up. These 105 participants met partners at a club(5%), disco(10%), sauna(14%), hotel(36%), and/or on the internet(23%). Receptive (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 2.69(95% CI 1.38-5.23)) and versatile (aPR 2.49(95% CI 1.29-4.80)) sexual roles, previous syphilis (aPR 1.78(95% CI 1.29-2.45)), meeting on the internet (aPR 1.67(95% CI 1.14-2.46)), and anal GC/CT infection (aPR 1.42(95% CI 1.00-2.02)) were associated with an increased aPR of recent HIV or syphilis. Age ≥36 years (aPR .63(.41-.95)) was associated with a decreased aPR.
We identified significant venue based risk factors for recent HIV or syphilis infection. Future prevention efforts should focus on innovative internet-based strategies, while also targeting physical venues (e.g. hotels) since they are still frequently used to meet sex partners.
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify risk factors for recent HIV or syphilis acquisition among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) in Lima, Peru. List meeting venues associated with recent HIV or syphilis acquisition in MSM and TW in Lima, Peru.
Keyword(s): Sexual Risk Behavior, HIV/AIDS
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an infectious diseases fellow at UCLA and have performed research on HIV and STI epidemiology. I am interested in developing strategies for HIV and STI prevention in Latin America.
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.