Background MSM account for an increasing number of new HIV diagnoses in the UK, with 23% having recently acquired infections. This is largely due to high risk sexual behaviour and lower risk perception. To explore this, we evaluated the sexual behaviour of our MSM cohort and correlated this to their perceived risk of HIV acquisition.
Methods HIV negative MSM attending a large sexual health centre were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire. Information regarding demographics, sexual behaviour in terms of partner number, condom use, type of sexual activity, awareness of partner’s HIV status etc was collected. A risk score was calculated and then correlated with their perceived risk of HIV.
Results We present preliminary data on 64 MSM. 78% of respondents were White British, 63% aged between 16 and 35 years. 52% of MSM had 2–5 partners, 19% 5–10 and 8% over 10 partners. Only 42% of MSM report consistent use of condoms for receptive anal sex. A large proportion reported using alcohol before sex; only 11% reported drug use. 65% reported unprotected anal sex with 0–1 partners and 32% with between 2–5 partners. Only 15% always discussed HIV status before sex, but more (38%) discussed condom use. Perceived risk of HIV: 34% thought it was low, 59% moderate and only 7% perceived themselves at high risk. Actual risk of HIV: According to the weighted scores 56% had low risk, 42% moderate and 2% high risk of HIV acquisition. Correlation: There is concordance between actual and perceived risk in 55% of respondents. Majority who had low risk perceived themselves as having moderate or high risk of acquisition.
Conclusion Evaluating MSM at high risk of HIV acquisition will help identify who would benefit most from behavioural intervention. Full report and statistics will be provided for the conference.
- HIV risk reduction
- Sexual Behaviour
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