Substance use and sexual risk behaviour among HIV-positive men who have sex with men in specialized out-patient clinics
Article first published online: 21 MAR 2012
© 2012 British HIV Association
Volume 13, Issue 9, pages 533–540, October 2012
How to Cite
Dirks, H., Esser, S., Borgmann, R., Wolter, M., Fischer, E., Potthoff, A., Jablonka, R., Schadendorf, D., Brockmeyer, N. and Scherbaum, N. (2012), Substance use and sexual risk behaviour among HIV-positive men who have sex with men in specialized out-patient clinics. HIV Medicine, 13: 533–540. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2012.01005.x
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 FEB 2012
- German Federal Ministry of Health
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Grant Number: FKZ 01KI0501
- HIV infection;
- illicit drugs;
- men who have sex with men;
- substance use
Unprotected sexual intercourse between men who have sex with men (MSM) is the most common route of HIV infection in Germany. Approximately 70% of newly infected people are MSM. Substance use is a determinant of sexual risk behaviour in the general population, but also in the MSM subpopulation. There are only a few studies, from the USA, on the correlation between substance use and sexual risk behaviour in HIV-infected MSM in specialized care.
In a German sample of 445 HIV-infected MSM treated in specialized out-patient clinics, the influence of substance use on sexual risk behaviour was investigated. Information was obtained from subjects using self-report questionnaires and a structured interview.
Recreational drug use was common. The prevalences of cannabis addiction (4.5%), harmful use of cannabis (4.3%) and harmful use of dissociative anaesthetics (0.4%) were higher than in the general German male population. A substantial proportion of patients reported unprotected insertive (32.9%) and receptive (34.6%) anal intercourse during the last 12 months. Use of cannabis, amyl nitrite, dissociative anaesthetics, cocaine, amphetamines and erectile dysfunction medication was significantly correlated with unprotected sexual contacts. Substance use in the context of sexual activity significantly increased sexual risk behaviour.
Substance use, especially in the context of sexual activity, should be taken into account when developing new prevention and intervention programmes aimed at reducing sexual risk behaviour in HIV-infected MSM currently in specialized care.