To compare demographic characteristics, sexual practices, unprotected receptive and insertive anal intercourse, substance use and rates of HIV-1 seroconversion between two prospective cohorts of HIV-negative men who have sex with men.
Comparative analysis of two independent cohorts.
Between May 1995 and April 1996, 235 HIV-negative Vanguard Project (VP) participants were enrolled and between January and December 1985, 263 HIV-negative participants in the Vancouver Lymphadenopathy AIDS Study (VLAS) completed a follow-up visit. The VP participants were compared with VLAS participants with respect to self-reported demographic variables, sexual behaviors, unprotected sex, substance use and rates of HIV-1 seroconversion during follow-up.
In comparison with the VLAS participants the VP participants were younger (median age, 26 versus 34 years; P
There is a dearth of information on the HIV risk-taking behaviour of foreign-born men who have sex with men (MSM) in Canada. This study focused on identifying sexual risk behaviour among MSM who immigrated to Canada and compared them to MSM who were born in Canada. Baseline data from the Omega Cohort in Montreal and the Vanguard Project in Vancouver were combined to form four ethnicity/race analytical categories (n = 1,148): White born in Canada (WBIC), White born outside of Canada, non-White born in Canada (NBIC) and non-White born outside of Canada (NBOC). Psychological, demographic and sexual behaviour characteristics of the groups were similar except: NBOC were more likely to be unemployed, less likely to be tattooed, had fewer bisexual experiences and less likely worried of insufficient funds. WBOC were more likely to report unprotected sex with seropositives and more likely to have had unprotected sex while travelling. NBIC were more likely to have ever sold sex and to have had body piercing. WBOC are at high risk of acquiring as well as transmitting HIV. It is important to consider place of birth in addition to ethnicity when developing programmes to prevent the transmission of HIV.
Young Aboriginal men face marginalization distinct in cause but similar in pattern to those seen among men who have sex with men (MSM) and may be at increased risk for HIV infection. We compared sociodemographic characteristics and risk taking behaviours associated with HIV infection among MSM of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal descent. Data for this comparison were gathered from baseline questionnaires completed by participants in a cohort study of young MSM. Data collection included: demographic characteristics such as age, length of time residing in the Vancouver region, housing, employment, income and income sources; mental health and personal support; instances of forced sex and sex trade participation and; sexual practices with regular and casual male sex partners. Data were available for 57 Aboriginal and 624 non-Aboriginal MSM. Aboriginal MSM were significantly less likely to be employed, more likely to live in unstable housing, to have incomes of 0.05). Our data indicate that among MSM, Aboriginal men are at increased risk of antecedent risk factors for HIV infection including sexual abuse, poverty, poor mental health and involvement in the sex trade.
Young gay and bisexual men may perceive that the consequences of HIV infection have dramatically improved with the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy. We therefore sought to identify trends in HIV infection rates and associated risk behaviours among young gay and bisexual men in Vancouver.
Prospective cohort study involving gay and bisexual men aged 18-30 years who had not previously tested HIV positive. Subjects were recruited through physicians, clinics and community outreach in Vancouver. Annually participants were tested for HIV antibodies and asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire pertaining to sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behaviours and substance use. Prevalence of HIV infection and risk behaviours were determined for eligible participants who completed a baseline questionnaire and HIV testing as of May 1998. The primary outcome was the proportion of men who reported having protected sex during the year before enrollment and who reported any episode of unprotected sex by the time of the first follow-up visit.
A total of 681 men completed a baseline questionnaire and HIV testing as of May 1998. The median duration between baseline and the first follow-up visit was 14 months. The median age was 25 years. Most of the subjects were white and of high socioeconomic status. The majority (549 [80.6%]) reported having sex only with men; 81 (11.9%) reported bisexual activity. Of the 503 men who had one or more regular male partners, 245 (48.7%) reported at least one episode of unprotected anal sex in the year before enrollment; the corresponding number among the 537 who had one or more casual male partners was 140 (26.1%). The prevalence and incidence of HIV seropositivity were 1.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8%-2.8%) and 1.7 per 100 person-years [95% CI 0.7-2.7], respectively. Fifty-two (26.5%) of the 196 and 55 (29.7%) of the 185 men with regular partners who reported having practiced protected insertive and receptive anal sex in the year before the baseline visit reported engaging in these activities without a condom at the follow-up visit; the corresponding numbers among the 232 and 242 men with causal partners who had practiced protected insertive and receptive anal sex before the baseline visit were 43 (15.5%) and 26 (9.4%) respectively at follow-up.
The incidence of HIV infection is unacceptably high among this cohort of young gay and bisexual men. Preliminary results suggest a disturbing trend toward increasing levels of unprotected anal intercourse.
To assess risk factors associated with HIV prevalence and incidence among gay and bisexual men in two prospective Canadian cohorts.
The Vanguard Project and the Omega Cohort are prospective cohort studies of gay and bisexual men ongoing in Vancouver and Montreal, respectively. For this analysis, baseline sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behavior, and substance use data from these two cohorts were combined. Assessment of risk factors for HIV seroprevalence and seroconversion were carried out using univariate and multivariate analysis.
This analysis was based on 1373 gay and bisexual men aged 16 to 30 years. Men who were HIV-seropositive at baseline (n = 48) were more likely to report living in unstable housing, to have had less than a high school education, and to have been unemployed than those who were HIV-negative (n = 1325). HIV-positive men were also more likely to report having engaged in sexual risk behavior, including having had consensual sex at a younger age, having had at least 6 partners during the previous year, ever having been involved in the sex trade, and having engaged in unprotected receptive anal intercourse. With respect to substance use, HIV-positive men were more likely to report the use of crack, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana and to use injection drugs. Similarly, men who seroconverted during the course of the studies (n = 26) were more likely to report having less than a high school education and having lived in unstable housing at baseline. Compared with HIV-negative men, men who seroconverted were more likely to report ever having been involved in the sex trade and engaging in unprotected receptive anal intercourse. Reports of cocaine use and injection drug use were also significantly higher for men who seroconverted compared with HIV-negative men.
Our data indicate that HIV-positive gay and bisexual men are more likely to be living in unstable conditions and to report more risky sexual and substance use behaviors than HIV-negative men.
Susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is of particular concern for marginalized populations. The objective of this study was to determine risk factors associated with sex trade work among young gay and bisexual men. Further, we aimed to compare HIV prevalence and incidence among men involved and not involved in sex trade work.
The study is based upon data obtained from a prospective cohort study of young gay and bisexual men. Participants had completed a baseline questionnaire which elicited information on demographic information, sexual behaviours, and substance use. Sex trade involvement was defined as the exchange of money, drugs, goods, clothing, shelter or protection for sex within the one year prior to enrollment. Contingency table and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors associated with involvement in the sex trade.
Of the 761 eligible participants, 126 (16%) reported involvement in sex trade work. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed regular alcohol use (Odds Ratio [OR] = 3.6, 95% CI : 1.8-7.2), aboriginal ethnicity (OR = 3.7, 95% CI : 1.6-8.7), unemployment (OR = 3.9, 95% CI : 2.1-7.3), history of residence in a psychiatric ward (OR = 4.2, 95% CI : 1.8-9.8), bisexual activity (OR = 7.0, 95% CI : 3.5-14.1) and the use of crack (OR = 7.4, 95% CI : 3.0-18.7) to be independently associated with sex trade work. Sex trade workers had a significantly higher HIV prevalence at baseline compared with non-sex trade workers (7.3% versus 1.1%, P