Beliefs about reduced infection risk on ART linked to STIs.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Antiviral agents (Dosage and administration)
Sexually transmitted diseases (Risk factors)
Sexually transmitted diseases (Statistics)
Health behavior (Demographic aspects)
HIV seropositivity (Surveys)
Pub Date: 05/01/2010
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: May, 2010 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 35
Topic: Event Code: 680 Labor Distribution by Employer Canadian Subject Form: Health behaviour
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 236247774
Full Text: Antiretroviral treatment potentially decreases HIV infectiousness, but sexually transmitted infections (STIs) significantly impact the health of people living with HIV/AIDS, increasing infectiousness and therefore transmissibility. This study examined STIs, sexual activity and beliefs about infectiousness in a community sample of 490 HIV-positive men and women in Atlanta, USA, hetween 2005 and 2009. Participants were interviewed on two occasions three months apart. 14% had been diagnosed with a new STI in a six-month period. Recently contracting an STI was associated with significantly more sexual partners, lower CD4 cell count, experiencing more HIV-related symptoms, and being less likely to have an undetectable viral load. Those with an STI were less likely to know their viral load (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1). Multivariate analysis showed that believing an undetectable viral load leads to lower infectiousness was associated with contracting a new STI (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.05-1.66). Left unchecked, infectiousness beliefs can lead to increased risk behaviours, increased exposure to STIs and therefore increased infectiousness. Programmes that aim to use HIV treatment for HIV prevention must address infectiousness beliefs and aggressively control STIs. (1)

(1.) Kalichman SC, Eaton L, Cherry C. Sexually transmitted infections and infectiousness beliefs among people living with HIV/AIDS: implications for HIV treatment as prevention. HIV Medicine 2010; published online 1 March 2010. DOI 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2009.00818.x.
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