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Changes in sexual behaviour of patients attending an HIV testing centre: a prospective study 1988-1994.
  1. B Cribier,
  2. M P Schmitt,
  3. C Le Coz,
  4. E Grosshans
  1. Clinique Dermatologique, Hôpitaux Universitaires, Strasbourg, France.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the sexual behaviour changes in patients attending HIV testing during the period July 1988 to June 1994. DESIGN: In a prospective study, 6824 face-to-face interviews were carried out before the HIV test was performed. The frequency of condom use and the number of sexual partners during the 6 previous months were recorded annually from July to June. The data were analysed according to gender, age class and sexual orientation. SETTING: Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France. SUBJECTS: Patients attending the HIV testing centre of Strasbourg. RESULTS: There was a striking increase in the number of attenders of this centre from 358 patients in 1988/89 to 2421 in 1993/94. We observed a significant decrease of homosexuals having more than five partners (p < 0.05) whereas multipartner sex remained unchanged in heterosexuals. There was no change in the proportion of patients having only one partner, except a slight raise in patients under 20 years. All groups showed a very significant increase in condom use, which was especially marked in young heterosexuals aged under 30 years. Nevertheless, condom use remained higher in homosexuals than in heterosexuals in 1993/94. In addition, there was a striking fall of past sexually transmitted disease in heterosexual patients under 20 years during the study period, and a fall in the HIV positivity rate from 1.96% to 0.42%. CONCLUSIONS: A major increase was noted in condom use in all groups and a reduction of multipartner sex in some patients. These data are encouraging in the younger patients, but prevention efforts should also be concentrated on middle aged patients who did not show major sexual changes, although having important risk factors for HIV infection.

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