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Oral Abstracts and Mini-Lectures|
Epidemiology of HIV Infection in the United States
Tuesday, 10 am - 12:30 pm
Presentation Time: 10:30 am
Background: In May 2003, the North Carolina Department of Health identified 49 new cases of HIV among black men who have sex with men (MSM) (all college students) and consequently, in August 2003 invited CDC to assist with an in-depth epidemiologic and behavioral investigation.
Methods: A survey was conducted to assess differences between HIV+ college students diagnosed between 2001 and 2003 and HIV- college students and HIV- non-college students; all were black MSM aged 18 to 30 and residents of North Carolina. HIV+ college students were contacted through state DIS and HIV- college students and HIV- non-college students were recruited through nightclub HIV-testing events; face-to-face surveys were administered.
Results: A total of 53 MSM (18 HIV+ college students, 19 HIV- college students, and 16 HIV- non-college students; mean age 22) completed the survey. HIV+ and HIV- college students were less likely to identify as gay compared with HIV- non-college students (44% and 58%, respectively vs 80%). The median number of lifetime sexual partners was 20 for HIV+ and HIV- college students and 12 for non-college students. The mean number of casual partners for HIV+ college students and HIV- college students was 3.8 and 4.2, respectively, compared with 6.3 for HIV- non-college students. The frequency of unprotected anal intercourse with casual and steady partners was similar in all groups (range 25 to 40% and 38 to 56%, respectively). Only 2 participants thought they were likely to contract HIV. All participants largely chose partners who were black, age <30 years; 10% of study participants reported casual or steady female partners. HIV+ college students and HIV- college students met 35% of their partners at college, but nightclubs (47%) and the internet (34%) were also common meeting venues. HIV+ college students had a higher lifetime risk than HIV- college students and HIV- non-college students of having gonorrhea (p = 0.019).
Conclusions: High-risk sexual behaviors are prevalent among both HIV+ and HIV- young black MSM in North Carolina. Prevention programs targeting black MSM are urgently needed and should focus on both college students and non-students.
Keywords: MSM; College Students