Date of Award

11-21-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Richard Rothenberg, MD, MPH - Chair

Second Advisor

Robert Gern, DrPH

Abstract

As the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States nears the end of its third decade, stakeholders have begun to sift through the previous experiences in prevention in order to assess progress as well as plan the next steps in this fight. The purpose of this study is aimed at understanding the factors which may affect unprotected intercourse. It is hypothesized that for men who have sex with men (MSM) there is an association between having a discussion about their HIV status and high-risk sexual behaviors. A secondary analysis was conducted using data from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) System. Binary logistic regression was conducted to determine the degree of association of the dependent variables; unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) with a main partner, URAI with a non-main partner, unprotected insertive anal intercourse (UIAI) with a main partner and UIAI with a non-main partner, with the independent variables of discussion of HIV status, age, race, educational attainment, number of partners and HIV status. When assessing the association between the discussion of HIV status with both URAI and UAIA it was found that discussion of HIV status was a non-significant factor. Despite the non-significant findings in relations to the hypotheses, being Black was found to be a significant predictor of URAI and UAIA with main partners in the logistic regression models. Having a positive serostatus and having 5 or more sexual partners proved to be significant risk factors for URAI and UIAI with a non-main partner, while being Black was found to be a protective factor.

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