Sex Role Segregation and Mixing among Men Who Have Sex with Men: Implications for Biomedical HIV Prevention Interventions.

Published: August 1, 2013

 Abstract

 
OBJECTIVE: 
 
Men who have sex with men (MSM) practice role segregation – insertive or receptive only sex positions instead of a versatile role – in several international settings where candidate biomedical HIV prevention interventions (e.g., circumcision, anal microbicide) will be tested. The effects of these position-specific interventions on HIV incidence are modeled.
 
MATERIALS AND METHODS: 
 
We developed a deterministic compartmental model to predict HIV incidence among Indian MSM using data from 2003-2010. The model’s sex mixing matrix was derived from network data of Indian MSM (n?=?4604). Our model captures changing distribution of sex roles over time. We modeled microbicide and circumcision efficacy on trials with heterosexuals.
 
RESULTS: 
 
Increasing numbers of versatile MSM resulted in little change in HIV incidence over 20 years. Anal microbicides and circumcision would decrease the HIV prevalence at 10 years from 15.6% to 12.9% and 12.7% respectively. Anal microbicides would provide similar protection to circumcision at the population level despite lower modeled efficacy (54% and 60% risk reduction, respectively). Combination of the interventions were additive: in 5 years, the reduction in HIV prevalence of the combination (-3.2%) is almost the sum of their individual reductions in HIV prevalence (-1.8% and -1.7%).
 
CONCLUSIONS: 
 
MSM sex role segregation and mixing, unlike changes in the sex role distribution, may be important for evaluating HIV prevention interventions in international settings. Synergies between some position-specific prevention interventions such as circumcision and anal microbicides warrant further study.
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