Rates of condom and non-condom-based anal intercourse practices among homosexually active men in Australia: Deliberate HIV risk reduction? Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: Three decades into the HIV epidemic and with the advancement of HIV treatments, condom and non-condom-based anal intercourse among gay men in resource-rich countries needs to be re-assessed. METHODS: The proportions of men engaging in a range of anal intercourse practices were estimated from the ongoing cross-sectional Gay Community Periodic Surveys in six states in Australia from 2007 to 2009. Comparisons were made between HIV-negative men, HIV-positive men with an undetectable viral load and those with a detectable viral load. RESULTS: Condoms play a key role in gay men's anal intercourse practices: 33.8% of HIV-negative men, 25.1% of HIV-positive men with an undetectable viral load and 22.5% of those with a detectable viral load reported consistent condom use with all male partners in the 6 months before the survey. Among HIV-negative men, the second largest group were men who had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) only in the context of HIV-negative seroconcordant regular relationships. Among HIV-positive men, the second largest group was men who had UAI in casual encounters preceded by HIV status disclosure to some, but not all, casual partners. CONCLUSIONS: A minority, yet sizeable proportion, of men consistently engaged in a number of UAI practices in specific contexts, suggesting they have adopted deliberate HIV risk-reduction strategies. While it is important that HIV behavioural prevention continues to reinforce condom use, it needs to address both the challenges and opportunities of the substantial uptake of non-condom-based risk-reduction strategies.

authors

  • Mao, L
  • Kippax, SC
  • Holt, M
  • Prestage, GP
  • Zablotska, IB
  • De Wit, JBF

publication date

  • 2011