Association between risk of acquiring HIV and beliefs and perceptions about the lived experience of HIV/AIDS among HIV-negative or untested men who have sex with men

M. Sidat, P. Rawstorne, N. Lister, C. K. Fairley

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The study aim was to assess whether the sexual behaviour of HIV-negative or untested men who have sex with men (MSM) was related to their perceptions of what it is like to live with HIV/AIDS, their beliefs or their attitudes to highly active antiretroviral treatments. Any unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with casual partners was used as the sexual-risk indicator. The study enrolled 261 MSM. There were no significant differences between beliefs, attitudes and perceptions about HIV/AIDS, knowledge of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) or exposure to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among those who had had UAI with casual partners and those that had not (P > 0.12). Those who considered that low levels of viral load and withdrawing before ejaculation reduced the risk of HIV transmission were significantly more likely to have had UAI with a casual partner (P = 0.03). Only a minority of MSM engaging in UAI were optimistic about antiretroviral therapy. The study participants were in general pessimistic about life with HIV/AIDS despite their risk-taking sexual behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-941
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006

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