Communicating HIV Status in Sexual Interactions: Assessing Social Cognitive Constructs, Situational Factors, and Individual Characteristics Among South African MSM.

Published: October 13, 2012


This study assessed whether social cognitive constructs, situational factors, and individual characteristics were associated with communicating HIV status and whether communication was related to sexual risk behavior. A quota-sampling method stratified by age, race, and township was used to recruit 300 men who have sex with men to participate in a community-based survey in Pretoria in 2008. Participants reported characteristics of their last sexual encounter involving anal sex, including whether they or their partner had communicated their HIV status. Fifty-nine percent of participants reported that they or their partner had communicated their HIV status. HIV communication self-efficacy (aOR = 1.2, 95 % CI: 1.04-1.68), being with a steady partner (aOR = 0.36, 95 % CI: 0.19-0.67), and being Black (versus White; aOR = 0.08, 95 % CI: 0.03-0.27) were independently associated with communicating HIV status. Communicating HIV status was not associated with unprotected anal intercourse. HIV communication self-efficacy increases men’s likelihood of communicating HIV status. Being with a steady partner and being Black reduces that likelihood. Communication about HIV status did not lead to safer sex.

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